They're things with no practical use. And they're usually small, easily trampled, creased, crushed or blown away. Things you come across, things you find when you're doing something else, that fit into your pocket. Objects with an entirely different plan, most of them never marketed to you, never designed to grab your attention. If and when you get them home you have to put them someplace that keeps them from the dog, the cat, the kids, the heavy handed, the vacuum cleaner. Some place that sets them apart. From yourself as well. From your hand, though not your gaze.
Bones. A squirrel skull. Feathers, wings, a fragment of a hornet's nest. Bowls and vases and cups too small to use. Tintypes of people you'll never know anything about.
Doll eyes. Feet. Hands. Heads. Shells meant for the tiniest of sea creatures. Shed cat whiskers. Dragonflies that could snap like matchsticks. Bees curled up as if asleep.
Bits of quartz and pods and milagros and burrs and sea glass and the toy volkswagen your Dad kept on his own shelf. Things that you could live without. Things that would be the easiest to throw away. But somehow, always, the hardest to.