We're in the midst of packing up my parent's home, from which my parents moved late last August. The house contains the accumulation of fifty-eight years of marriage, three childhoods, and assorted refuse. The trick is to appropriately sort through all of that, dispose of items with no sentimental or practical value, and get out of there in a reasonable time. The number of boxes that comprise the evidence of my life is staggering, and includes "historical" records, creative efforts back to my first short story in 4th grade, and assorted little items, some shoved in drawers and not thought of in decades, perhaps. Do they have any sort of value. What sort of sentimental value can be assigned to the thousands of items that sweep through our lives?
I have literally hundreds of artifacts, each bringing with it a small snippet of memory - each preserving a brief slice of my life. Each represents an emotion, a feeling, and an era. a Matchbox car I used to play with - the leg of a GI Joe, a promotional pen from the New York Mets, a video tape feature work I completed very early in my career. All have value largely with me. Without me, they're worthless. To anyone else, they're worthless. For me, they represent a connection and a continuity to my past. A critical connection? Hardly. We are the sum total of our life experiences, not of our possessions. But our memories remind us of the texture of our lives - the subtle detail that accompanies and colors those experiences. Perhaps those small items help all of us remember in intimate detail who we are.