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.
Enjoy your day.