Monday, April 21, 2008

The Things They Carried

I've been thinking about things. "Thing," as in the dictionary definition: "a material object without life or consciousness."

Not valuable items, at least in the monetary sense. But objects that anchor me to my life, and more particularly to my past -- a past that I feel some kind of need to prove existed through a daisy chain of tangible objects.

I bury my face in a pink velour robe -- which still has a Hall's cough drop in the pocket -- that hangs on my bathroom door and think, "I had a mother. She wore this robe."

I sit in the teal blue 60s armchair my dad had in his bedroom and think, "My father sat in this chair in the morning and read the Bible."

I look at the Fisher Price Little People police car and its driver on my computer at work and think, "Once, I turned 6, and I had a birthday party, and my parents bought me the Little People village."

I look at this picture of my brother holding me when I came home from the hospital and marvel at the fact that in my home now, I have that end table, the mail rack on the door and the black ashtray there by the lamp.

It's the same reason I love going to the flea market -- to see the things that other people carried, and compare them with my own.

So maybe I'm not talking about things in the dictionary definition. Because these material objects do harbor life and consciousness -- my own.

1 comment:

Shaken Mama said...

I'm impressed with your ability to retain and care for these important vestiges of your past. I'm more of a getting-rid-of-stuff kind of person, with little sentiment for anything but photos. But then again, I think your parents had cooler stuff.