Saturday, May 24, 2008

Letting go: Bulletin Board

I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to try something different with my many, many keepsakes. One such item is a bulletin board my mother made me when I was a teenager. I forget exactly when, but one year she assembled various trinkets and bits that I had collected up to that point in my life and glued them onto a bulletin board; she gave it to me as a gift for a birthday, and it used to hang next to my computer at our old house.

I have always collected things, parts I find on the ground, toys from my childhood, random stuff that can be found anywhere. My mom's father, who I did not grow up knowing, used to reload his own shells; when he found out that I was interested in handguns and other weapons he started sending me things: pocket knives and other folding knives, bullets that he had reloaded, and so on. I collected patches, and buttons, and dice, and old film and camera parts. I liked old things, broken useless things that should have been rubbish but that I was too sad for. I couldn't bear for the broken things to become garbage, and thought that if I loved them they would have value. It seems silly now, but that is how I came to have so many trinkets.

Some of the things on the bulletin board have broken off, and the cork was starting to disintegrate. I had this for such a long time; I put favourite concert tickets on it, a picture of Colin and Waltzer drunk at my wedding, pictures of friends who have been out of my life for more years than I can count. When I moved, I decided it was time for this bulletin board to leave my life. It is special to me but I needed to let it go, needed to let a piece of that me go into the dustbin along with those broken bits of a life I don't really remember.

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