Sunday, November 8, 2009


I have been an avid collector of memorabilia since I was a little kid.

The photo above shows but a small fraction of the things I've collected over the years: from books to candy wrappers, from airplane tickets to photographs, from candles to wedding garters, from corsages to ribbons, from cards to sashes, from receipts to stickers, from dried leaves to letters... and the list goes on.

I find a sense of joy (that I can't quite put into words) in collecting little somethings that remind me of people, places and events. Even after many years, they somehow bring me back to that specific moment - that strand of time and space in the tapestry of the world - that enriches the experience even more.

"A pleasure is only full grown when it is remembered. You are speaking, Hmān, as if the pleasure were one thing and the memory another. It is all one thing. The séroni could say it better than I say it now. Not better than I could say it in a poem. What you call remembering is the last part of the pleasure, as the crah is the last part of a poem. When you and I met, the meeting was over very shortly, it was nothing. Now it is growing something as we remember it. But we still know very little about it. What it will be when I remember it as I lie down to die, what it makes in me all my days till then--that is the real meeting. The other is only the beginning of it. You say you have poets in your world. Do they not teach you this?"

- Hyoi, a creature of the planet Malacandra speaking to Ramsom, the human protagonist. From "Out of the Silent Planet" by C.S. Lewis

As I grow older, though, I realize that I can't hang on to every single thing that tugs my heart otherwise even a museum wouldn't be big enough to house all things that I put sentimental value into.

I have come to think of the act of saving meaningful things as sort of a self-preservation. Although it sounds like a good pursuit, I believe otherwise. I am not here to preserve myself. My stay here in this world is a mere passing by, a sojourn. Thus, as a voyager I wish to travel lightly. I soon became content with the fact the mind finds ways to remember.

The only memorabilia that I continue to hold on steadfastly now are the handwritten letters (which I fondly call 'snail mail') that I receive.

For me, an object only has meaning to the person/s who puts sentimental value to it but to the outsider, could mean nothing - it may even be seen as rubbish. A letter, on the other hand, tells everyone who reads it a story. An object could spark a deep curiosity that may never be answered, while the letter gives answers that may lead to further inquiry.

To sum it up, what I believe about memories is that they should make me more able: able to grow, able to appreciate, able to love, and able to help others become more of what they are meant for and to be.


  1. Our memory is not nearly as large as our imagination or sense of wonder.

    We are humans.
    We change.

    We hold on to journals, letters, and other memoribilia in an attempt to freeze the ceaseless rivulet of time.

    Like this comment only captures at best a fraction of what is on my mind, we can only hold onto little slivers of the past.

  2. So true.

    Thanks for sharing the lines I quoted above from C.S. Lewis' "Out of the Silent Planet".


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