Clinging to memories

They were essential to the shaping my life, to direct the journey of a writer.

Every household possibly holds those little things that look and feel…well, old. Or tatty. Small notebooks with frayed spines, a faded postcard with illegible writing.

A pencil stub or a pen with a broken tip, or even a piece of tarnished jewellery with missing stones. Photographs yellowed with age or novels dog-eared out of shape. Clearing out a house full of junk would normally entail throwing out these little things. But, for whatever reason, they just can’t be removed from sight.

As a kid, I had several of them. Still do, as a matter of fact. There’s a tiny bag of used crayons bought when I was four. Dad believed in junking them and they almost did end up in the trash. But the crayons hold memories. They help me remember a childhood of dreams and vivid imagination, where the touch of magic was a whisper away. When a gentle breeze brought with it a soft, tinkling melody of images and vibrant colour, of an imagination beginning to stir. It is strange and wonderful and bizarre all at once, and on no account will I part with those crayons, even if they look old and worn to everybody else. No way.

There are also old dolls and a few books. Some of them evoke memories good and glorious, others of hard times. But they were essential to the shaping of my life and career, and they helped, in their own way, to direct the journey of a writer. To keeping thoughts and dreams flowing despite the mundane world of exactitudes that exerts itself over the simplest chores.

Clutter is, of course, rather awful. Not all cherished items can be kept, and sometimes hard decisions must be taken. Nothing is worse than finding every inch of space stuffed with useless memorabilia. 

Yes, there are ways to keep memories and junk whatever’s not as impactful or powerful in the recollections they evoke. Too many keepsakes form a jumble, a labyrinthine abyss of disorder. Definitely not good. Storage space is never unlimited, and there’s only so much you can keep.

Nevertheless, other things of memory find their own space, tucked away in snug corners and hidden nooks, and only you know where to find them and relive certain times. They have their ways of staying out of sight, but never out of mind. It’s the little things that make up a whole. Besides, some of them lift spirits, give a feeling of fuzzy warmth. And in in the end, that’s all that matters.

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