today i helped my parents move. we were packing stuff into boxes. i was in the kitchen, wrapping glasses into newspaper as my father came, carrying a strange, old briefcase, asking if this was mine.
my immediate response was no way. then he opened it and it was like a flood of memories rushed at me. i stopped all wrapping of glasses and just started into this briefcase, filled with the colours and scents of memories.
unbelieveable. i could not remember putting these things together in this briefcase. why would i do such a thing? i do remember thinking many times though about this dress, that photo, wondering where they had gone to, but i had accepted my "loss" as i have indeed moved a lot in my life, and "lost" many material things.
i felt like the man in the french movie Amelie. she finds a little treasure-box in her bathroom, and seeks out this man, and hides it in a phonebooth and arranges for him to enter it. she looks at him secretly as his memories unfold, as a whole array of fragrances and pictures flood out at him from this small box.
the pink printed flower dress from Long Street, Cape Town. the sarong from that Bangkok market. those trousers from Sri Lanka. that black blouse i wore for work in that gallery restaurant in Portobello Road. and all these photos... some of the first photos i developed myself in a darkroom. a picture of me in the holy Buddhist place Bagan in Burma, taken by that israeli guy i travelled with for a few weeks. a picture from that tropical paradise beach in Zanzibar, where i travelled with that swedish boyfriend. a picture of me on a wooden swing, Ko Samet, Thailand, taken by that welsh guy. pictures from a foggy Varanasi, India, that i forgot i took. pictures from Mexico, with Caribbean sun and turqoise seas, when i was in a relationship with that man. memories of London-life. wow. amazing. a whole life passed in front of me as i stared down at all these memories, carefully packed into an anonymous, ugly briefcase from the 70's.
why did i once do this?
maybe to one day open it again...and have all the memories of my life and dreams wash over me like a gentle wave. what a deep feeling, to know, that all of this, was my life, and is now in the past. but i did it, all of it, i was there, and i have made all those things happen. thank you, life. i hope to alays keep filling my experience of you with as richly as i possibly can.