Monday, December 3, 2012

In the story Hansel and Gretel, the kids left breadcrumbs to mark the route they were taking. A path they could retrace. In the Greek story of Theseus and the Minotaur, he unravelled a ball of string as he entered the maze so that he could find his way out after killing the monster.

I function with a similar idea, only I do the opposite. I collect breadcrumbs. A spool of thread of sorts. I collect bits and pieces from places I go to, things I experience. So that later, when I need to find my way back to that moment, and my memory doesn't serve me well enough, I have a token to help me along. A bill, a stone from the pot outside the restaurant, a plastic spoon from the ice-cream parlour, a leaf from the tree I was standing under. Small things, all of them. Junk is what others would call it. But for me, they're memories. Yes I know about memories and encapsulating a perfect moment in your head and no one can take that away. But I also use these tiny things as my personal guide, scrapbook, the thread through the maze I call life.

Which is also why I love photographs. Which is why I write down thoughts. All of these things together form an account of my life.

It is foolish to attach meaning to these material things. These transient objects which could break, fade, get lost. But well, I do it. They mark the moments of my life I'd like to remember. A guide to finding that moment in my head.

So I collect, I store, I hoard, I remember.

No comments: