I thought it was a stroke of genius* on my part to put out a call for new blog ideas so I could expand my scope of topics, challenge my thinking and develop myself - One of my oldest friends got back to me rather quickly.
After reading what she sent me twice, I actually muttered, "WTF am I going to do with this?" As I said, she is one of my oldest friends and a real sweetheart, so it would simply be wrong of me not to give it that ol' college try.
BTW, this is what she sent me:
"We're all about lightness and novelty in our society, but sometimes there's merit to keeping 'things' as totems, or physical reminders of good times in the past. I think sometimes, we're all about the pristine and sterile and we shouldn't be afraid of the layers of treasures and detritus that build up over the course of a lifetime."
I like to tell everyone that on a daily basis I work with a 1000 word vocabulary; holding true to this conviction, I had to look up "detritus" [dəˈtrīdəs] which is defined as waste or debris of any kind. I will say literary interpretation has never been a strong suit of mine but then again I did say "I wanted to expand my scope of topics, challenge my thinking and develop myself", so I guess I got what I asked for.
No doubt there is innuendo regarding the youth culture and beautification of everything around us, with the "novelty" of fresh faced potential being preferred to the weathered face of experience; continually trying to retain order in what is believed to be an "unspoiled" image before the chaos and layers of a life lived has settled in. To this, there is a reminder that a life truly lived has both treasures and detritus (see above definition) and reflects our journey - All of which should be embraced and not feared.
But the question has to be asked, "Why only totems for the treasures when a life truly lived embraces the detritus as well?" I get that keeping 'things' as totems of the good times is much more enjoyable then that of the bad times - I mean, who needs the pain?
However, if these "totems" are seen more as signposts of a life lived and not as good or bad memories, they become "markers" of where we have been, what we have accomplished, the sights we've seen, and are forever reminding us of how far we've come - All to be celebrated as a life being lived.
And if we are willing to share our totem's stories, they become signposts for those who are finding their way.
I hope I have done well by my old friend,
* An example of a real stoke of genius is the 3M Sticky Note... what I did, not so much.