Do you ever think of me? Memories & ensoulment.
There’s a common belief that objects and possessions are just ‘things’ and that we should not be attached to the items we own. It’s trotted out as a platitude when people are struggling to de-clutter; minimalism is the current fashion both in terms of home décor and also for literature. Free yourself of the clutter than holds you down, holds you back and binds you to the past, we are exhorted. You’ll feel so much better when you chuck it all onto a skip and be rid of it.
I don’t know. I find it incredibly hard to part with things and I tend towards being a bit of a hoarder if truth be told. It comes in part of growing up with post-war parents who themselves grew up with make-do-and-mend as a deep seated philosophy. When my father boarded the loft he did so with old pallets he pulled apart for the planks; the nails he extracted were straightened and put away in jars to reuse. It also comes of placing great value on kindness and gratitude. Christmas gifts were treasured and kept, and in the case of toys and clothes, passed on when we’d outgrown them.
I was looking for a particular item this morning, going through the various small boxes of jewellery to locate something, and it set me wandering into the past.
The cameo pendant my best friend gave me for a birthday gift a few years before she died aged just seventeen.
The little gold necklace my South African pen friend sent me one Christmas when I was in my early teens.
A little wooden brooch shaped like a tadpole I bought in Yorkshire when I went away with my youth group when I was eighteen.
A small enamel stick pin I bought at a school fete when I was twelve.
The crystal pendant I bought when I went to see a healer about twelve years ago.
My charm bracelet, complete with a dazzling display of unique silver charms, all with their own story to tell.
The sunburst badge give me by my poet friend Stephen, the dedication on the reverse blurred by time and rain.
I could go on. Each item is more to me than a shiny bauble now. I pick them up and the dead speak. The lost wave to me across the years. I see my All Shall be Well medal from the Julian Shrine and I remember the one I gave to someone who disappeared and I wonder: do you ever think of me? I look at the gifts of school friends and I wonder: do you ever think of me? I look at the gold baby bracelet my grandmother gave me when I was born and I ask: do you ever think of me?
I think of the gifts I have given over my life time and I know that there’s probably relatively few that are still intact, still owned by the person I gave them to, but I still sometimes wonder: do you ever think of me?
Some might shudder at being so bound to both the living, the dead and the missing yet for me, that these objects hold memories binds me to this life with threads of loving fondness. While someone thinks of you in a kind manner, I believe that somehow we feel it. The reverse is also true, sadly. That’s why some things are best passed on, but with care and love for the fragment of soul that resides in things does not deserve to be treated without respect.
I don’t do give-aways as such, the way many authors do, sending out signed copies of books, and book-swag, but I want to do a very different give away. I have a collection of trinkets, pendants and the like, more than one person could ever wear. It’s time some moved on so they might be loved by a new person. If you would like a piece of my collection, comment here about why and what you would like (there are no diamonds or gold involved!) and I’ll try and select a piece to send. You could also email me ( see the Contact me page). These are not things of any great value, in monetary terms, but I’d like to hope that once given, the receiver may sometimes look at them and think of me with fondness in years to come.
(The specific items mentioned are not up for grabs as such, but I was giving them as examples. I’m intending to choose intuitively from the collection when someone expresses an interest. There’s crystals I used to wear during the time when I did reflexology and other forms of healing as well as various pieces I made myself or collected or was given. All items have memory and story attached to them.)