Saturday, January 7, 2006

Scrap Crap

Scrapbooking is among the many, many endeavors I have resolved to take up this year. And not purely as a hobby, mind you. As a necessity. I can't tell you how many pictures and scrap crap I have filling boxes, envelopes, and old, chipped sinks in my house!

Something must be done to organize the scrap crap and the chipped sinks cluttering my house.

With that in mind, I went to a fine scrapbooking store in Wichita today. "With the new LM line, you can scrapbook anything that's ever happened in your whole life," beamed the Lynette-ish desperate housewife who helped me. So, I browsed, bought and bolted with evidence to support my newly-resolved quest. It was exhilarating, and I could just see it now:

Friend: Do you remember the location of the hostel you stayed in while visiting New York that one time?
Me: Why yes! Looking back at my 1999 New York Scrapbook, it's at 103rd and Amsterdam.

Mom: Why are you still single?
Me: Hmmmm.... According to my new scrapbook entitled Manthrax: The Biological Dangers I've Loved and Lost, it's because all my ex's were apparently long term losers. Like him. And ooohhh... especially him.

Awh yes, this could be great!

Except for one problem. As I was thinking of my life laid out on scrapbook pages, something began to bother me. How could I scrapbook everything that's ever happened in my life? I mean, how do I visually document my initials carved into the observation deck railing on the Empire State Building? That stage on the Colorado State Fair grounds? That adobe-looking building in Mexico? That wooden bridge in west Texas?

For that matter, how do I scrapbook the first time my heart was broken? The memories of the day I was saved? The sheer panic I felt the first time I turned on a microphone? The feelings I had on the stand in court after a judge had me subpoenaed for (illegally) taping courtroom proceedings?

Seems to me like we come standard equipped with the best scrapbook of all - a mind that captures and holds sights, sounds, feelings, memories, and facts. My feeble attempts at organizing life's scrap crap will be just that.

Scottish poet Alexander Smith said: "Memory is a man's real possession. In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor."

I like that.

I also wonder if Mr. Smith ever had a scrapbook.....

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I am a scrapper, and I totally feel your pain. I finally came to the conclusion that I need to let the pictures do the talking, with only minimal notation. This works for me (though not for any of my scrapper friends or family - they all think I'm nuts), because - like you - I feel that memory is a better judge of the past than any documentation that I can come up with. I scrap because it relaxes me, and because I have trouble with my memory (rough childhood, lots and lots of disociation that robbed me of many memories). The biggest decision I made - the most important - was to only scrap those things that I want to remember. Like you (like most honest people) I have many painful notations on the pages of my life, and there are some that are best left un-documented. But I will document that boy who broke my heart, because he was first a boy who showed me that I had a heart worth breaking, and I am thankful for that. I will document the father who betrayed me because he was first the father who taught me how to take care of myself - how to survive - and he is a part of me, even if one that hurts. But I refuse to document anything that I cannot offer to God with praise on my lips! For me, this is a goodly compromise.

By the way, I mentioned you on my blog. I thought you might want to know. God bless you, friend :)