I started collecting words accidentally. I almost always cut paper for paper mache ships in a particular way. For my top layer I like newsprint, cut rather than torn. I separate my strips by text size and weight and I prefer that the strips are horizontal – flowing with the text. When I’m cutting newspaper, things invariably jump out at me. There is some mood or meaning, some sensation or memory evoked by a word or phrase. And so I save them.
The original intention was to use them on ships and boats and I do, but something else happens when I take out my box of words – I get all sorts of new ideas. It has become an intentional practice. When I’m wandering and inviting inspiration I sort through the box – a single word can spark something, shift my direction just a little, send me to a place I would not have gotten to, intersections appear.
It is a kind of listening.
I love the happenstance of it.