Saturday, November 20, 2010

They Are Just Things

It happens to us all, but some must feel it more than others: the eventual erasure of evidence that we used to be someone else, the slow fade of memories and mementos from the lives we once lived, the perpetual passing away of the ever-growing past.

I wonder what it is like for others; does every person feel this as distinctly as I do? How could I know? For me, my life is broken into two halves - the Arkansas-dwelling Lori Arnold and the Scotland-dwelling Lori McFarlane. The two lives, separated by marriage and ex-patriation, are very clearly split in my mind. When I think of the past, I think of it in two parts. When I face a vague, distant memory, I first begin to track its origin by categorising it in one of the two parts of my past. From there I can begin to decipher the rest of details.

I am faced now and again with this distinction by small little keepsakes from that first journey of my life. When I moved here, I came with only three and a half suitcases full of belongings. Everything else was either sold, given away, or, for only a small number of things, stored at my parents' house. The things I brought with me, aside from clothes, now seem very arbitrary; they are also some of my most prized possessions. There is the framed photograph of the Bag Lady, which hangs in my living room (and Scott hates), that I bought at an art exhibit, the bumble bee and ladybug coffee mugs that I somehow procured from Joshua and Kristen Rudd, my jewelry box from Target, my red dishes from Ingrid and Amanda from my 21st birthday, and the Post-It note on which I scribbled the words,
'You're worth the trouble and you're worth the pain, you're worth the worry, I would do the same. If we all went back to another time, I would love you over.'
which was the Belle & Sebastian quote that Scott IMed me, and which constituted his first technical use of the word 'love' to me.

Over time, these things have started to chip, break and fade. The Post-It, which was once pinned to the board in my office in Fayetteville and now hangs on my fridge by a magnet, is only this:

I have always known these things are material and won't last forever, but it still saddens me. I think, superstitiously, what happens when those words on that Post-It fade for good? What will happen to us then?

Well, this week I saw another two such souvenirs come to their bitter ends. Two pint glasses, saved from Thursday Pint Nights at Common Grounds on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, have broken and been relegated to the rubbish bin. I always meant to make it more often to Common Grounds on Thursdays to pick up my free pint glass, each week featuring a different beer and accompanying glass to take home. But I only ever got three, one of which I gave David Motter, and the other two of which I wrapped in t-shirts and packed in one of those suitcases. The first to go was my clear one, which oddly, neither Scott nor I can remember what was printed on it, despite using it for over six years, as it had finally cracked through. Then today, Fifi came rushing into the living room to tell me, 'Lolly broke your glass.' And there, on the floor, was my other one, the green one, in three pieces surrounded by tiny green shards and a barefooted Lolly holding a broom and dust pan (bless her).

One by one, they go, they fade. I can't help but wonder - Will all of me eventually fade with them?

1 comment:

  1. Lori, I am actually getting teary reading this post. I REALLY relate to this!!!


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