Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Ephemeral

These little snippets of life seem to accumulate in my world. It's always difficult for me to toss out something like this because it instantly takes me back to a time and place. Even if it's not a particularly memorable moment, I may save something. I occasionally even save a cash register receipt from a grocery visit, just because it's a moment manifested, and I think it will be interesting to run across a few years from now.

I've thought a lot about why I'm attracted to keeping these things and I think it's because they are physical reminders of the passage of the ever ephemeral time. I always battle the idea that time is passing without me making as much of it as I had hoped to. Did that moment just past really live up to its potential?

Time has a way of slipping past without notice. We have routines. We do the same things at the same times with the same people in the same places. This may be absolutely wonderful. If we are living a life that resonates with us, it can be wonderful to be doing that. If we're living a life with a lot of variety, or if we have difficulty keeping memories, we may need the reminders. If we're living a life where the hours are filled with things we don't enjoy we may lament the waste of our time.

There's also the appeal of life being a big collage and these are just bits we can add to the tapestry of it. I know I keep all kinds of things only because they give me a sense of leaving a trail behind me that tells a story. Maybe it's not a story I will tell, but the things left behind have their own story.

It's curious that the word for bits of paper like this is "emphemera" - and they are real reminders of time that is so ephemeral. I suppose I'm not the first person to think of this.
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