Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Keepsakes

I wonder how many of you will hold up your hands, and admit to keeping items that come under this label? I can think of a few oddities I've squirrelled away over the years: a recipe written out by an aunt on a tiny page torn from her pocket diary, and slipped into my cookbook for 'safe keeping': an icing sugar rose that adorned a chocolate Easter egg, given me by my first boyfriend: petals from a bunch of anemones given me by my brother, just before he sailed to New Zealand with his family.

Sometimes, these morsels of tactile memories, after being cossetted for years in various nooks and crannies of cupboards or drawers, one day elicit the response 'Why on earth did we keep that?', and get unceremoniously consigned to the scrap heap. Other times, we smile fondly at them, and return them to their hiding place, still looking upon them as treasured keepsakes.

Those faded anemone petals fell into this last category. I had originally pressed them between layers layers of paper, not in a proper flower press, but simply between the pages of a weighty tome on my bookshelf. I'd intended to use them, once dried, in a collage, but needless to say, this turned out to be another 'roundtuit' pipe dream. They got transferred to an envelope, and spent many years in a box file with receipts, agreements and other legal 'stuff', only coming to light intermittently.

Eventually, their fragile, veined paperyness, had me inspired enough to write the following lines as a more lasting memento of their original glory.

Retrospect

Dreams of youth
become faded with age,
like bright flower petals
that dim as they dry
between interleaved paper
meant to preserve them.

And yet those pale petals
live on in the mind
to bloom again,
as memory recalls
the hour of their plucking.

22 comments:

Reasons said...

I love that Jinksy. Material objects can trigger memories. I've thrown away too many things in the past and now realise that by holding or seeing them you can bring these memories to life again.

Kikit said...

I have kept most of the sweet letters and notes I received from my pals since I was in elementary. Though I don't meet them all this time, I believe that by putting the letters in a box, I have somehow treasured the friendship we had shared.

Kirsty said...

I am a major hoarder - I get it from my mother. I've kept every letter I've ever received - I used to store them in folders, now tie them up with ribbon. They'll always bring a smile.

Jewels said...

I am a pack rat. That's why I became a scrapbooker... to preserve all that stuff and write down the memory while I can still remember why I have those ancient yellow rose petals from forever ago..

Sniffles and Smiles said...

This brought chills...it is so very beautiful...and perfectly captures age...I think of my mom when I read this....fantastic poem, Jinksy! I really love this one! Janine XO

Anvilcloud said...

It's those moments of prompted recollection that they conjure that are so poignant -- moments that we wouldn't have experienced had we not stumbled across the object yet again. Good poem.

lime said...

oh, i've got so many little snippets squirrelled away, guilty as charged...

Patty said...

I think we all have a few keepsakes. I know I do.

~ ennui ~ said...

"to bloom again" indeed! Lovely words......

Suldog said...

The poem is lovely, and is probably as good or better an evocator of the memory than the dried and crumbling petals. I also like the collage idea, though. Wonderful thing, a collage of many memories!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love your poem Jinksy - it is so true what you say about keepsakes. What saddens me is that when we depart this life those little treasures will be thrown away because they will have no meaning for anyone else. I often feel like this about old photographs too.

Thumbelina said...

The poem encapsulates it perfectly Jinksy and like you, I have a number of memories tucked away in old books, cupboards, shelves...

Woman in a Window said...

And then the fall to the floor, a slow motion flutter, when we absently lift a book ten years later. My daughter is still looking for leaves we collected years ago, shaking misc books hoping for a fall. Yes, Jinksy, we keep and we treasure. Lovely.

Rosaria Williams said...

Yes, collect, pack, retrieve, reassess. Stuff owns us.

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Hilary said...

Lovely poem. It can take its place of honour ON a page rather than between them.

Carolina said...

That is such a nice image....*sigh* Those faded flower petals. And do you still have the icing sugar rose? WOW
Oh I wish I had a romantic mind and thought of keeping such lovely keepsakes ;-)

Valerie said...

Lovely. Oh such memories. Yes I have big books containing pressed leaves, each one a memory. I won't tell you about all the other bits and pieces saved over the years and for eternity.

Lyn said...

So true Jinksy ... I had a hope chest of such precious items and once the chest was opened, hours disappeared as I relived every single memory attached to those keepsakes. Thanks for articulating that with such eloquence - that only you could do!

BT said...

Super poem, doing justice to your faded leaves. Ihave a few keepsakes, fewer than I used to have. I did have a purge and get rid of some. I keep meaning to put things in scrapbooks, but back in the box they go after and airing!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

I have hundreds of roundtuits, Jinksy... Of such stuff, dreams are made, I always think! x

Susan English Mason said...

An old boyfriend did a small watercolor for me that I stuck in a book and forgot. He has since passed away. One day I was looking through the book and found it. What a great memory. I stuck it back in the book and placed the book back on the shelf.