Sunday, 5 October 2014

Scrapbook insight #2

Above, I present to you, the encapsulation of my collection of whimsical self-memorabilia. These previously cobweb-covered memories, once gathered at the back of my wardrobe, represent a visual, physical and sentimental depiction of the past few years of my life. And I adore that.

This exact chaotic collection of novelty tokens, tickets, clothes tags, stickers, postcards, and key rings are all extraordinarily mundane items out of context. They are the neglected aspects of daily life. They are the kind of arbitrary scraps of material which congregate at the bottom of our bags: screwed up and swept away into the bin with various other items lacking interest at the end of each week. They are the items often so prominently attached to a specific memory that they are overlooked: the humble business card discovered by itself on a shelf in a Spanish vintage shop; the shell found by itself on a blank patch of sand.

Now that is why I scrapbook. To visualise a purpose in even the most mundane of items. The simple act of reviving such mundane items can cause them to glimmer with untraditional value. With the act of scrap-booking, these potentially-crumpled stickers, restaurant order slips, clothes tags and various other mundane 'nic-nacs' gain so much undiscovered sentiment over time as they hide between memory-ingrained pages. They become worn, faded with a strong sense of ever-increasing nostalgia, only to alight a fleeting moment of remembrance, a small second in which their small act on earth engraves itself once more into the fore-front of the scrap-bookers mind days, months, years later.

I am completely enamoured by the simple essence of scrapbooking: the fact that my scrapbook is completely unique: that there is NO other single replica in existence. Each ticket, each clothes tag, each and every single item has a completely unique stem of memories attached. Looking back, these small mundane items fabricate such an intricate feeling of nostalgia, intoxicating me with a heavy sense of accomplishment. I don't need to wait 20 years to thumb through its pages to re-affirm the small moments in time, to revel in the distinct, slightly musty smell of memories left to settle, only to return to them in another 20 years. I can look back on these moments at any time, if only to let this flurry of nostalgia intoxicate me with the very same emotions as I experienced when I first preserved a piece soon-to-be-self-memorabilia.

The actual notion of scrapbooking: sitting on a memory riddled carpet, hands sticky with glue and the air heavy with nostalgia, is a reassuring act. Scrapbooking not only confirms to me, in a hazy flurry of thoughts and emotion, that my memories will reside safely for years to come, but moreover enables me to establish happy connotations of the past. It may be gone, but at least I can look back and say 'I really gave life my best shot'. And it's these sequences of thoughts that often cross my mind and overwhelm me with a musty sense of calm.
I am enamoured by the notion of scrapbooking. Are you?

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