Not long ago, I started putting collections of things under glass domes. The objects are completely random. They’re just things I like for mostly sentimental reasons, but have no other place for.
A toy car, a wedding cake topper, a coin, a terracotta head. I choose them without much thought. But once placed under a dome, they look as if they’re meant to be together. As if a story lay behind them.
A shell, a tin soldier, a girl on a donkey. I’ve no idea what the story is, only that I don’t need to invent it, because somehow it already exists, quite independently of me.
The top of the piano is already covered with these odd, wordless stories. Soon I’ll have to start using the table in the hall. After that, perhaps the mantelpiece. The reason I like them is that as stories go, they are pretty low maintenance. I don’t have to write and rewrite them, tear them up and start them all over again. They won’t keep me awake at night for months with their jabber, only to fall silent in tall, remaindered piles behind my study door.
All they need is a bit of dusting from time to time.