Did any new books find a cozy spot on your bookshelves this holiday season?
On the recommendation of a friend, I picked up The Postcard by Anne Berest. That last copy available at my local book shop.
No more than five pages into the book, I was up out of my reading chair, my rooibos chai tea set aside and cooling rapidly, making notes. This book is practically an award-winning advertisement for Artifcts. In the space of mere pages, I picked out these gems:
Anne, the lead voice for much of the book, confesses she could not have picked her relatives out of a photo and "felt a wave of shame."
How many of us feel the same way? The shame is often about "Why didn't I listen?" or the close cousin, "Why didn't I ask?" This is why we say, "Storytellers, Beware!" And how many of us are willing to invest the time and energy to actually get answers? While some enjoy chasing histories, it's not for us all, and then so much is lost.
Anne also equates her mother Lelia's memory boxes and archival boxes to "little coffins."
We feel the same. If you are willing to spend the money to protect items you care about with archival boxes, please Artifct them so you give life to the items within for anyone who comes across them. And here's an extra tip learned the hard way: if you are going to frame an object, first take pictures to use for your Artifct so that you aren't wrestling with glare once framed.
Lelia refers to the mixture of fact and family lore "blended stories" that fit her own ideas and theories about the past.
Family lore is important. It's instructive, it's real, it may be all you have to go on. Sometimes, we'd even say, it's as interesting to hear the many versions of a past as the facts that may be discoverable.
It's not until a bit later in the book that I saw another important theme emerge regarding the seemingly trivial 'stuff' we accumulate during our lifetimes. Lelia is rummaging through a desk drawer, flicking past check stubs, bills, old day planners, ticket stubs and more, and the book's author writes that these were, "[ ] All the scraps of paper we accumulate over the years, the kind future generations will hesitate to throw away when they're emptying out our drawers after we're gone."
You know it's true!
But now you have Artifcts, so no excuse. So much less guilt and loss when you declutter.
Of course, it's not always the scraps of paper. Later in the book when Anne is in the waiting room of the office of a private investigator she's looking at the knickknacks and debating: sentimental or bought to fill and decorate the space?
It's normal to wonder. It's also normal to be completely frustrated when you have no answers and it's a space more personal to you, like the home of a loved one.
When someone asks me about when, where, or what to Artifct, I think, "YES!" The fact is, now is when we live. Artifct anytime, anywhere, anything that speaks to you. It will become a part of your story.
And I wish you a more relaxing book read than I experienced this go around when Artifcts was constantly on my mind!
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