There is an element of classical archaeology evident when delving into tone’s past. Something tied to artifacts that were once in currency as being useful in an everyday day sense of familiarity. This is especially true of collections of same that made up the lives of close family members who have since passed on. Though their physical presence may be only ashes in containers waiting to be discharged finally to the dust of the ages, their existence become palpable in the rediscovery of these artifacts. Moving to one to the point of emotional radioactivity. As memory of what was once considered the banality of everyday activity fades they take on the razor sharp quality of instant recollection of episodes and character traits that bring the inherent qualities back to mind. Sometimes painfully so. God forbid if an ancient pharaoh did survive the ages! How much loneliness and loss could any human being withstand?
To finally lay to rest these individuals, you must also lay to rest the immediacy of so many small insignificant items that put together make up the sum total composition that is reflective of what was once their everyday identity. Then to is the sense of discovery of facets of their character that were hidden from view that in hindsight tend to explain the behaviors that in life were enigmatic. The handling of these objects in itself bring the person back into reach as if for tiny instants one senses that they have never left. The unstable peaks and valleys of this emotional roller coaster sometimes moving one to a form of emotional equivalent of atrial fibrillation. A sense of drunkenness on the irretrievable past! Each items past on to strangers or relatives taking on the ceremony of another final departure as one silently reconciles one’s self to the loss of another facet of their former life of the former owner.
The person left behind in this interaction feeling one more again vacant and hollowed out losing a little more of themselves in the bargain. To donate or sell in return for something valuable? An exchange for the respect of a memory regarding the collective remembrance of that fading distant soul as having been worth remembering in a way that for others as well, they will be missed. This is the inherent power of little scraps of scribbled paper lost in discarded wallets full of two dollar bills and a silver certificate. The handwriting as fresh to the mooned as if the thought driving it had been penned a matter of a moment ago. The only real history that lives to summon the moment once again! Where then to store this atmosphere that defies containment save in the concealment of remaining untouched and only occasionally rediscovered? To maintain a museum of dust encumbered artifacts in secret out of the way places in the spirit of the ancient Egyptians? The grave robbers of the not too distant future seem to be the only ones that can be counted upon to finally lift this burden by reliably whisking away the contents and depositing that sacred trust to the tip.