Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Memory is what persists in us...

The things and objects that we store and accumulate over the years are worth for their purpose, but also for their symbolic meanings.
We keep clothes - of all ages – hoping we’ll dress them again one day, when we lose weight or when it is fashionable again. We keep our notebooks from school, when our handwriting was still in its infancy, and then we add to the pile, our children’s notebooks. We keep boxes and boxes filled with objects because they remind us something, or because they were a gift from someone we like. We keep objects from someone who departed, far away or forever, as if we could preserve a piece of that person with us. We keep broken crockery and furniture, waiting for the time when we will retrieve them, waiting for a time that we don’t have nor will we ever have. We keep letters and notes, magazines, yellowed books with their diluted print and indistinct phrases...
We keep completely useless things that lose their original meaning and fail to refer us to any place or memory. But we keep them. We keep them in order to have a sense of security, continuity, permanence! We keep them to fight against forgetfulness, but this is a paradox: if we need an object to remember an event or someone it is because we have already forgotten them!
And there comes a time when the cupboards are full of stored things - from our childhood, our children’s, our grandchildren’s, our grandparents’! Closets, garages and attics crammed with things that will never be remembered, touched, used or useful!
But when the time to donate comes, the time to get rid of that pile of junk that the objects turned into, that memory comes back, that treacherous memory that takes us to the past. And all the memories come to life, as if suddenly they had woken up. And rather than fixing them or donating them, we get stuck with the memories that each object will awaken in us and, in the end, it all comes back to pile up in the same place. We shut the closets, garages and crammed attics, and keep everything again - as if the objects were our life, everything we lived and lost in the past. We cling to objects to avoid releasing the past, for fear that when they are gone, a piece of us will also go, and will become dilute and lost.
It is true that we are connected to everything that we have by a sort of invisible umbilical cord. The objects must be like children - at some point we have to let them go, to go on existing elsewhere, and so that we can continue with our lives.
When we bind the objects - to us – everything becomes cluttered, dusty, occupying a space that should be aired and filled with new things, new experiences, a new life...
We must rid ourselves of things we do not use, of everything that we do not want, and create a scope in our lives - open spaces to flood with light. Things do not mean anything after a certain time - they have already served their purpose. We have to let them go! What resists and persists in us is the memory!

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