Saturday, January 08, 2011
Sorting Through Life's Accumulations
Really, we don't lose much in this life. The important things can never be thrown away, dropped, lost.
Tom and I didn't take many home movies of a young Naomi and only a sane amount of photos. I think just one video has survived and photos of Naomi are scattered, some in frames around the house, others stored in albums in boxes.
But you know? That's ok, because the sweetest Naomi times are stored safely up here, inside my memory, where I can pull them out anytime I wish.
And I've lost some friends throughout my long decades, some through death, others through indifference or distance. Yet that's all right, for the best times we shared wait for me up there, too--inside my memory.
Oh, the favorite dishes and figurines I've accidentally broken, the books I've loaned and lost! But the best ones I can still see, recall, anytime, anyplace, right here in my memory.
The times when Life felt so magical that I nearly burst--all here, still. At least, those memories yet remarkable enough to rise to the top. The surviving memories, I reason, must be the most important ones, after all.
You know all those hoarder tv shows? Well, I wish I could convince those sad, dear people of this: What's most valuable in this life are only those things we fly away with when we die. And it's those things, those memories, which no one can ever snatch away; we cannot break them or lose them by fire or flood--not permanently, forever-- nor can we really even grasp them inside our hands.
All we can take to Heaven are our memories (the lost ones having been restored), the people we love, and who we've become in Him, none of which we can store in boxes, closets or even display upon shelves in this prequel sort of life.
"When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, "What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?"
'They are the days of a long time ago, Laura,' Pa said. 'Go to sleep, now.'
But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa's fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods,…
She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago."
Laura Ingalls Wilder,
Little House in the Big Woods
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
... William Morris