Monday, 15 October 2012

October Simply a Moment

Hello

As I am sifting through the myriad of things I have collected over the years, my mind is having a running conversation about what I deem to be precious. Something so precious that I can't part company with it. You know how it goes? All the children's drawings and the many cards they have given to me over the years. The photographs, the letters to Santa... Somehow, scanning them to place on the computer just isn't enough. It's their physical presence that matters. I have to be brave though. I am about to downsize my living space and will only have room for the absolute necessities of life. I am fortunate that my two daughters will share the things that are of sentimental and historical value to us all. Items that I have lovingly kept from both sides of our family, things that may not have a lot of value but are important to us. They both have a sense of family history and values that I admire in ones so young.

The dialogue in my head continues and I think, suddenly, of a trip to Bali that the family made when we lived in Asia. There is something I remember that has always stayed with me, something I loved and looked out for, each day we were there. Every day, the Balinese women make small offerings called canang sari which are placed outside their doors and on statues to guard against evil spirits. The making of these fragrant frangipani decorations takes time and skill. They are like small pieces of art. And yet, the next morning, the previous day's offerings are swept away and replaced by new ones. What I felt then, and remember now, is how important it is to make room for something new, a life in which to grow. All the ephemera is not who I am. It is the memories and love of my family and life that matter the most. Like those small offerings, some of my belongings can get swept away but I will never forget them. 


Translated from Indonesian by Kay Moechtar, who I met in Bali in 1989.
Kay sadly died in October 1992 from breast cancer.

On the 15th of each month for a year, I am joining in to record Simply a Moment as suggested by Alexa of Trimming the Sails. You can read about it here. Why don't you take a moment to write something down today? It can be amazingly enlightening.

Enjoy your day.

11 comments:

Sian said...

That's absolutely lovely.

It's so ggod to hear that the next generation share your sense of their place in history. Sometimes I think it skips generations - I get mine from my Grandpa, but my Mum is very unsentimental and doesn't keep anything at all

Alison said...

Having just gone through the downsizing experience with mum and dad, I realise how hard it is to part with some things......And you are right-it is the memories thet are important
Alison xx

Elizabeth said...

Your layout is delicately beautiful--almost fragile. As far as parting with memorabilia, I can understand completely. We are moving soon and going through 35 years of "stuff" is almost heartbreaking. What to keep, what to dispose of is the hardest thing I have ever done.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Beautiful. Thanks for reminding me that its time for me to put my October moment on my agenda.
Rinda

alexa said...

This is so deeply thoughtful, Irene, and lovely to read: a really meditative moment which has taken you back and forth in place and time. And it's giving me another moment too as I let your thoughts resonate within me, and what things/keepsakes mean ... Your embroidery page is so delicately put together - a little digital treasure of its own for all of us! Thank-you ...

Miriam said...

This is so beautiful Irene. Thank you for sharing it with us. I work with memory loss and have learnt the value of keeping a box of special treasures and writing memories down. You are fortunate that your daughters have a strong sense of family history.

Amy said...

Oh yes, I agree, your writing is beautiful Irene and such a lovely accompanying layout.

Paul Browning - The Artsider said...

A beautiful, poignant post, so delicate in it's prose. Your layout is wonderful, clean, elegant and beautifully worded. Px

Ruth said...

A beautiful moment and a gorgeous layout.

Fiona@staring at the sea said...

This is beautifully written Irene. It resonates with me for two reasons. My inlaws have just downsized and it was very difficult for them to part with very many of their things. My husband and his three sisters are unsentimental about such things and were rather unsympathetic. I understood perfectly and am fighting my nature at the moment as I try to declutter my own home.

Ginger said...

Hello Irene :) I enjoyed reading your moment and found it beautifully written. I loved your story of the Balinese women too. Lovely.