Tuesday, May 02, 2006

D'où venons nous? Que sommes nous? Où allons nous?

Sopwith-camel's post here made me think of how much I do own things, which don't actually belong to me.
Things, which I have saved and filed, without knowing who owned them and why they were finally thrown away. It made me wonder why am I saving all my and also other people's things around me. Is it because I am afraid one day there will be no-one interested in what did happen to me when I was alive?

Approximately ten years ago I got to see how one life was thrown away in one afternoon, in huge black bags.
Inside of those bags were one woman's photos, her clothes, her letters, her silver spoons. "We thought they were worthless", I heard afterwards. I don't want to say what they did to her antique furniture, because it might make me cry.
Over ten books of photos containing her and her husband's journeys to different countries were trashed, but I managed to get their Plan de Paris - book.

Sometimes I just sit and think who were the people behind all those objects I own. Who was Signe and why did she write all those sweet letters to Einar?
Who owned and broke the clock? Who drank all the lemonade? Who ate the candies and filled the box with buttons?

I love stories and the lifes, which don't belong to me. I love to make up different stories of unordinary lifes.
I listened to my granny's radio when I was a small girl. I remember reading the names of the distant cities and wondered who lived somewhere out there.
I still remember this line:

The wooden box is my favourite. I bought it from the flea market.
Before getting it's way there, it spent it's life in a house where Bertolt Brecht lived for a while. It's empty, but it tells stories to me.


Interpreter Pavlov said...

You see, you do love things after all. I felt all along that your thing-anathema a couple of posts back was really a state of mind, probably an angry crimson, and nothing to do with the things themselves. Clearly your state of mind today is quite different, pale blue or silver like the new moon. Taiga the chameleon?

I remember as a child we used to have Lahti on long wave wireless, among other places. It seemed remote and magical, a sort of gateway to Valhalla. (I'm afraid we got our mythologies terribly mixed.) I don't expect it's like that at all, is it?

Dave said...

As a boy I used to love turning the dial on our old wireless (after the valves had warmed up) and listening to the (vivid sparkling blue) crackle from the (shade of green) ether, and strange (mystical silver) voices from foreign lands, overlaid with a (pale lemon) hiss.

occasional poster of comments said...

If I had a bigger place, or felt I had settled somewhere, it would be full of second hand stuff from charity shops. For now, I just buy lots of secondhand books. Sometimes they have messages written on the inside covers. Usually something like, Happy Birthday, but sometimes more interesting. I find myself trying to work out what was meant, why it was written, who the people were. And I always wonder what led to a gift with a personal message finding its way onto the shelves of a secondhand shop.

For instance, this one, inside a Calvin and Hobbes book, currently has me intrigued:

Cambridge, 17 June '93

To John

Congratulations with your exam! If anyone knows the meaning of chivalry, then it's you. I am very pleased to have met you, you have been very helpful and supporting. As for your PhD, correct me if I'm wrong but I presume that you will be walking in the halls of DAMTP a few years more. The place is not always so cheerful, but the people there are very nice (apart from...). I was a bit disappointed that we didn't have any lectures together in the last two terms, although you did follow similarity for a while. Your caricature of Prof. Barenblatt is absolutely hilarious.

I am sure you will wnjoy your travels in Asia and Australia. Take good care of Jenny and Sarah.

Take care


taigathefox said...

IP; Taigas don't change their stripes so easily :)
Your magical gateway to Valhalla happens to be very near the place where I was born. No Valkyrias around, mostly drunken ski-jumpers.

Dave: I wish I could have the radio fixed one day. I miss the velvety, eggplant-coloured tone of the voices.

OPC; I sold all my Calvin and Hobbes albums few years ago. They were first editions, of course and now I'm regretting the deal. [sigh]
But I never could sell a book with a personal message like that. I wonder if John took very good care of Jenny and Sarah...

Dave said...

I deliberately used the old-fashioned term 'wireless' because that's how I think of a valve-operated device with mysterious middle-European names and voices.

I collect old hymn books. I have some going back to the 18th century, with names of long-dead people inscribed in them. I sometimes wonder about their lives...

Sopwith-Camel said...

I remember Hilversum on the dials. And I remember green magic eyes that helped you tune into stations properly.

I grew up listening to Pirate Radio stations like 390, Caroline, Jacky, City. It was a magic world each night when it grew dark and you could tune in the far-away stations.

I find the blogs today a bit like Pirate Radio, it's all coming from far-away places and nobody's controlling it.