Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

knick-knacks and artifacts

 After the memories have faded away, what will remain ? That is a question I found myself asking. I think that thought was inspired by the objects I have surrounded myself with. Old photographs of those I have known and loved, some that I know still, and even those I never knew ! I have various knick-knacks and artifacts, other peoples' possessions, saved from anonymity by my parents or by myself. Each object tells a story if you can look inside the book. I know what the pages say but will those after me ? Not unless I tell their story. So I would say a piece of the owner is stored in those objects, their memory captured. There is much in them that I do not know and that is left unknown. As I look at these things, these reminders, I thirst for more. Perhaps that is the sentiment that a hoarder feels or senses, that there is a story in each object worth preserving. I do think that the value lies in the knowledge of the story and not in the object itself. The object is only the vessel.
 I wonder what objects of mine will be retained for that purpose. What one thing or things will carry me forward through time ? We do have a tendency to save certain things as mementos. A reminder of a single moment in time. But the things we save, our mementos, are our memories and so may not be selected at all. I believe that is true based partly on the monetary value of that object. The greater the monetary value the more likely to be saved ? I'm afraid if that were the only criteria not much of my stuff would remain. So then we have to gauge sentimental value and that can only be assessed by the one possessing the object. And that my friend is where it gets tricky. It is similar to giving someone a gift. You think long and hard about what you believe they would like. You get that gift, give it to them and then discover they aren't quite as thrilled as you think they ought to be. You don't say anything right ? No big deal, you're welcome,  I hope you enjoy it. Inwardly you are disappointed. You may even feel a little bit hurt. The hurt stems from your feelings though, not from their actions. It does hurt to think that others may not value the objects I treasure, even after I have made that known, for years ! And so that is why I ask, what will be  retained ?
 What I'm really asking is what will remain of me ? Memories are always in the first person, the rest are stories. My grandchildren will remember me, if I'm real fortunate great grandchildren may have a memory of me as well. The truth is much beyond that,  memory begins to disappear. With each generation the memory fades away. Eventually you are nothing more than a story. Old photographs show your face and with luck, some objects of yours remain. The objects are the tangible proof that you existed. I can hold great grandfathers tie pin in my hand and know it was in his. That's a powerful connection. The value of the object is not important in establishing that connection. That is why others view some of your more prized things as junk ! It is a frustrating thing really. You can not tell people what to value. They must decide that value for themselves. Sure I can plead, beg, and insist that you care for my stuff after I'm gone. I can elicit a promise from you that they will be cared for. Thing is, after I'm gone I can't control what happens at all. It is awfully hard to trust others with your most valued possessions. I am left with that question, when the memory fades, what will remain ? I'll never know the answer and neither will you. Frustrating isn't it ?