Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Little Things

I've been meaning for a while to write a post about the little things that mean so much to me. They're physical possessions, so I suppose its materialistic, but people associate memories and meanings with things...they provoke memories and are symbols of emotion, so we can't necessarily differentiate the meaning-making from the things: I think they're inextricably linked. I had a professor in graduate school who scoffed at people who fetishized historical objects...for a while I thought he was right. Now I'm not so sure. All I know is that when I attempt to understand how we construct memory and meaning- and how we constantly craft our own identities out of those essential elements, I have a hard time devaluing the objects to which we attribute significance. (Sorry, I've been reading all about meaning and memory for my oral history class!)

Anyway, all of this brings me down a convoluted path to my sister and how much I miss her. Over Christmas, we went to one of our favorite vintage shops (one of the few vintage shops where we're from) and she bought me two lovely brooches as my yearly present. She's been adding to my brooch collection for a while (three of them are pictured below). Some of the most beautiful pins in my jewelry box came from her. When I wear them, they remind me of her and how much I appreciate having at least one person in my life who I know understands me, one person who I can wander around in thrift stores and Forever 21 with for hours, one person (besides my husband) who will laugh at my jokes, listen to me, let me cry when I need to, and who knows just what I'd love to wear. She thinks she's not fashionable, but its not true. She's smart and beautiful and wonderful and has killer taste in shoes. 

My other Christmas gift was this little change purse made out of kimono cloth. I've been too afraid of carrying it around with me every day (things have  a tendency to get lost in my bag and quickly get beaten up) so I keep it propped on my dressing table and think of her whenever I see it. 

It makes me sad that I can't see her more often...we live many states apart and probably always will, but these things remind me of her. They remind me to e-mail her, to message her on facebook and to call (even though neither of us likes talking on the phone). Luckily though, I painted a portrait of her (pre haircut) that hangs on my wall and reminds me of my lovely sister. This only affirms my belief that although these things don't have inherent, essential meaning, they carry the significance that  I've attached to them and because of that they hold a special place in my life. I like to think that the things that I wear all have stories, some that were others, some that are mine (this is why I adore hand me downs, why I love thrift and vintage stores) - but all of them make me feel at home in my wardrobe and home. I miss you sweetie. 

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