Do memories matter?
With all of the hype around decluttering, should we just toss out everything and live in the moment?
If one more person tells me to ask my socks if they’ve been folded in a way that’s going to make them feel comfortable, I’m going to fill them with sunflower seeds and hang them outside and let birds peck at them until they’ve disintegrated.
Miracles in Box 23
I’m packing. We’re moving. I’m going through stuff. I’m on box #23. Here are a few things I just found:
- Receipt from the Chimanimani Hotel for entry to the pool. We were working in a guest lodge in Zimbabwe behind the bar and the hotel was the most modern place around by a longshot. So many memories in that slip of paper it could fill a novel (oh wait, it did).
- A letter from my cousin to me stating that, while I was traveling through Asia, his wife was pregnant, his niece was graduating high school, my dad was retiring, my sister announced her fiancé and he realized how much he loved Thai food. In one letter. Written, saved and now I have it.
- A magazine called Big World that had my article about Malawi in it. I remember being so proud of getting that published in there.
None of this means anything to most people, but it means the world to me and a select few who were involved. But these little items and papers and receipts bring back these memories. I can hold the paper in my hands and think back to working in the bar in Zimbabwe and remember serving the local chief of police a beer.
But who cares?
It’s just a story from long ago that no one cares about. Even if I were to build it up into a huge adventure and drama, people who weren’t there couldn’t possibly understand what it was like and even if they could, so what?
That was then, this is now.
They have their own memories. They could tell me about them, but do I care? Why do we care about other people’s stories? Are they just fun to tell at parties? Let’s say they also did a stint as bartender at the same lodge in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe. We could talk about that together and compare notes.
So do I hold onto the slip of paper or not?