Attic Museums

I love "attic" museums.
Small places where they exhibit

the bits of peoples' lives.
Where the obscure becomes important.
Some would say

"all they have is trash."

Attics are where you find the bits of memories.
Where you stumble across the forgotten
Kept because it was precious.

Southerners have an affinity for holding on -

To things.
We want the bits of history

To tell us who our people were.
So we will know who we are.

We keep stuff - for generations.
A photograph, a piece of lace, a spoon,
Books, oh, my yes, books
Letters, pens, linens, pots and pans.
And on, and on, and on.

We guard them.

They are us.
Our roots, our connections.

How can you know yourself
Without your stuff?

That's where the stories are.

Note: Ah, here it is. I have been looking for this. First published on this blog August 21, 2005. I found a copy of it Wednesday night when I was sorting papers in my office - you know the office I have been cleaning out for days.

Robin introduced me to the title - attic museum. It is such a perfect description for all the little museums that you run across. Or for the homes of people like me who hold on to or collect memories. And then ofcourse, the Hallowed Smithsonian has been called "the Nations's Attic."

I heard an author Peter Manseau interviewed on NPR the other day day about his book, Rag and Bone, which deals with the human need to hold on to stuff - even body parts. Its about relics.

I understand it.

There is a lovely litle wooden box tied with a white lacy ribbon on a book shelf in my studio - Chu Chu's ashes.


Eirin Edvardsen said...

you have received an award from one norwegian storyteller to another... Check my blog to see what it is about. Love, Eirin

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