Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Providing provenence

 I was talking with my mother on Sunday, as has become our custom. She is 86 now and I'm 62, amazing numbers when taken in a certain context. I couldn't have imagined that when I was 12 or so, but here we are. Dad has been gone for sixteen years now and I have lost my older brother. Two of six from the immediate family. That's one third. My mother is the last of her immediate family, Her immediate family was twelve. Time marches on, as the saying goes. and waits for no man. But enough with the sad stuff, it is something I prefer not to dwell on. Those folks are not gone to me, just out of sight. If I start seeing them , that is when I will get concerned or rejoice.
 We talk about the old days and the way things used to be. We share the same old stories over and over again. It is a comfort to us both. Sharing memories is sharing a time together. It is like reliving the moment. Every once in a while I will hear something new. The " new " stories happened many years ago and I was just not included for a variety of reasons. Perhaps I was considered too young or there was fear I would " say " something. You know how that goes. Whatever the case, I'm hearing the tale now. I especially like it when the story explains a mystery. The how or why of a situation. These are not big earth shattering tales of great importance but rather the little details in life. Socrates said a life unexamined is a life not worth living, or something close to that. He was talking about the details. The details are of interest to me. It is this " providing of provenance " that fascinates me.
 In my mothers' immediate family she has become the sole provider of this provenance. None of her brothers or sisters survive to tell or contradict the tale. Provenance must be provided by the earliest known recorded evidence or testimony, following that it is just hearsay. Fortunately her memory does not seem to be failing. There are moments when she opens the " vault " as well. We all keep our little secrets locked up, that is a natural and normal thing. I can not explain the impulse to release some of that information. Perhaps at some point it just doesn't matter anymore. Perhaps there are other reasons for withholding these tidbits. It could be personal embarrassment or protecting another. The decision to just let them go arrives suddenly, in my experience anyway. All at once I feel unfettered, and out it comes. I wouldn't say it is necessarily growth, but it becomes necessary. Secrets can be a burden. Keeping secrets implies withholding important information. That isn't the truth of it though. Secrets are just things we are unwilling to share. Their importance may be of negligible value to others. a curiosity.
 When I began to write these blogs I did so to record my story. I wanted to leave a record for future generations to read. My thinking was, and still is, that if nothing more they may provide an amusement. I would certainly be interested to read the thoughts of my grandparents or great grandparents. I can remember some of the things my grandmother said and her stories but I don't know her thoughts. When I was a child I asked the questions of a child. There is a lot more I would like to ask now. And so now I have come to realize that I am the sole provider of the provenance of my life. That is true for each of us. What will that provenance be ? That is also solely up to each of us. Our legacy is what we leave behind, property or money. The money is taken at face value. Property however is often measured by its' provenance. Provenance is what adds the value. Often associated with antiques. Well one day we all become antiques. Antiques represent an earlier time. I think we should all provide the provenance to add value. If you want to be remembered, give them something to think about, that's my thinking.
 I guess what I am saying here is, unlock that vault ! Share the stories you have with others. Tell the tales of life and loves. The objects that you cherish will be left behind one day. The old saying you can't take it with you is 100% accurate. If you wish those objects to be valued by others you must instill that value. Provide the provenance. You are the earliest version of you ! It is your testimony that carries the most weight. Make it known. Of course it doesn't hurt to withhold a little bit of information, just to hold their interest. The secret to a good show is to leave them wanting more.