The Beauty of Memory

There are more and more publications in USA and UK that are using nostalgia pieces – you can go to Google and find out which they are, and they are a wonderful market for freelancers, especially the older ones amongst us. This is a piece I had published a few months ago:

AMONG MY SOUVENIRS

By DVORA WAYSMAN

I never set out to be a collector. Whenever Ive read about millionaires with fabulous private collections

of art and sculpture, Ive thought why not just keep a few pieces you really love and give the rest on loan to a

museum or gallery so that others can share their beauty.

Yet I find now that I do have collections. Theyre not worth any money and probably no-one else would want

them. Most people in my age group have accumulated possessions they cant bear to part with, despite moving

homes and maybe even countries several times in their lives.

Who remembers that song of yesteryear: Among My Souvenirs? Part of the lyrics were:

Some letters tied with blue,

A photograph or two,

I find a rose from you

Among my souvenirs.

What we are really collecting are memories. There are times in our lives we want to hold on to forever and

when we handle these mementoes, they bring a smile to our lips, a tear to our eyes and a bittersweet wave of

nostalgia.

I have more than a thousand books, and nowhere to put them all. Those that overflow my bookshelves are

stowed in cardboard cartons. Many are paperbacks, yellowed pages and tattered covers. But to throw them out

would be like disposing of dear friends. Lots of poetry some by almost-forgotten writers like Alice Duer

Miller, Rupert Brooke, A. E.Housman, Dorothy Parker. Old novels by Somerset Maugham, Evelyn Waugh, Hemingway, Steinbeck. . Books on philosophy, psychology, the craft of writing. They all represent my youth,

when I discovered the world and the wonders it contained. No, I cant throw them away!

Then there are the photos. They started out in albums, but now there are too many and Im too lazy. Beloved

family no longer with us . Friends of my youth. Weddings. Babies bright-eyed and dimpled. Rites of passage

first day at kindergarten and school; graduations. Grandchildren. Holidays. They are all cherished, and

overflow in drawers and cabinets.

Bric a brac. One earring (the other lost) given by your first boyfriend. Small childrens awkward drawings.

Their clumsy efforts at making you strange things from wood or papier mache. A challah cloth with crooked

stitches. A letter on a torn page that proclaims in shaky letters: , I love you. How could you ever toss those?

And now I also have a collection of shells and rocks. Most were gifts from grandchildren who wanted to give

me something in return for the toys I gave them. There is a pine cone and a curiously-shaped rock. Shells you

can put to your ear and hear the sea. And stones I gathered at the Dead Sea on my sisters last visit here, when

we spent a perfect day of peace and tranquility together, exchanging memories of our parents and siblings,

our childhood, the dreams we realized and the ones we lost along the way. All precious. All irreplaceable.

Get rid of the clutter were told. Not me. I shall go on collecting mementoes and memories until I die.

And I hope my children, even then, will save a few of them. Because some things are worth more than money!

_____________

I have managed to get hold of some copies of my books that were out of print …”The Pomegranate Pendant” is

now available again ; also In A Good Pasture and my book of poems Woman of Jerusalem. My e-book

“Autumn Blessing” can also be purchased on line – my contact details are available above on About Me; if

you are in touch I will arrange for you to get them.

Keep writing!

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3 thoughts on “The Beauty of Memory

  1. David Herman says:

    Dear Dvora, Very much enjoyed this piece. I attach here the link to my Youtube review of Dr. Shaul Sapir’s remarkable book on the Jews of Bombay which was honored last week by the Indian Ambassador at his residence in Herzliya. As you may know Dr. Sapir is a member of our Bet Hakerem Synagogue. With best wishes, Shavua Tov and Hodesh Tov,David

  2. Carrie Burns says:

    Hi Dvora,

    Nice to see your blog. You must have your hands full because it has been a while and I know how much you love to write and share with others. From strength to strength.

    I’ve been asked to assist my director in the Florida office of ICEJ so I packed my little white car and drove 4 days and here I am, my second day. I like it so far.

    I’m to lead a group at the end of May and we are working hard on recruiting. It’s my ticket to Israel.

    Thinking of you with love,

    Carrie

  3. Last night Mrs Acilius and I were getting ready for bed. We tunred the TV on, and they were showing a movie version of THE MOD SQUAD. The channel’s programmers must have read your comment!

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