Memorabilicus – or The Umbilicus of Memory Found in Objects

Catchy and academic-sounding title eh? My brain works weirdly in sleep deprivation mode. I also love to make up words that have meaning probably only to me.

Memorabilicus via papered words

Memorabilicus via papered words

Last night was a late night (morning) working as the next in line is out for medical assistance for his partner. That left me in charge of herding cats and satisfying upper level customers in an IT tizzy. Diligently afterwards I tackled my continuing work of packing/sorting/remembering.I came across this in the back of a notebook that contained the notes taken on my husband’s death. Not the emotional ones, but the practical ones – mortuary, costs of death certificates, phone numbers, etc. My handwriting is never static in form, although I retain certain characteristics no matter my slant, font, cursive or printing. Running across it was like returning to an old friend. I wish I had written it. I know it is from a You Tube movie that used to be online. I played and re-played what was said in the movie, writing it down by hand. It had no credit noted on the page and for a moment I hoped I HAD written it. But turning back a few pages I found names of people in the margin and looked them up until I associated it with the true author, Steve or Garrett Kroschel (father and son); I am not sure to whom the actual credit should go. I hope you find value and depth in its simplicity as I did.

From The Beautiful Truth

For each of us eventually, whether we’re ready or not, some day it will come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. Your wealth, fame, and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear; so too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to do lists will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won’t matter where you came from or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end. It won’t matter if you’re beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built. Not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of compassion, integrity, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many people will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone. What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.

A life lived that matters is not of circumstance, but of choice.


Beautiful, isn’t it?

I experience people and places by the emotional impact of the thing. I sometimes cannot recognize a place until I smell it, or touch something about it. People are the same way. I may not be able to tell you their eye color or which way their hair parts; only how I feel in their presence, or how they smelled. Anyone else like that?

Yesterday, coming in from the humid and hot patio and entering the studio with its little hard-working window unit, I had some ‘feeling’ memories go rushing through my core. The scent of that little air conditioner and its chill across my skin reminded me of yesteryear’s vacation rooms as a kid, coming in from the hot sun and reveling in the cool. Of long days fishing with my girls on the pier and entering our little rented house on the beach with the air blasting. Of a place called “Palmpineoak” in the Ocala National Forest where we used to visit – an old Cracker style house with wooden floors, iron bedsteads and soggy tropical-smelling feather beds. It takes something that small to riffle through the card catalog of my mind.

I found a box of assorted photos – black & white, Polaroid, photo booth, professional styles. Pictures of people and places, times and spaces, living and dead. Photos of boys and young men I liked; photos of boys and young men who liked me (usually not at the same time; funny that, huh?), a declaration of love via snowmobile, written in snow from a boy smitten over summer vacation. How easily that word ‘love’ appears on photo backs and in notes from youth, before we understand the depth and breadth of what love requires and truly means. Love is a term I use now with the paucity of a miser, but when I do use it, I mean it with all of my being.

While sorting through additional life ephemera that tends to overtake me at times, cards from my late husband fell out, along with cards from my girls. How do you value those things? To anyone else who would come along after my passing, they’d be tossable things. I’m a continual note-taker, writing on everything, including things of value. I found my announcement of acceptance into Phi Theta Kappa, a monumental thing for me due to not entering college until post-divorce and in my thirties – and the envelope is written on. Pristine Smithsonian archaeological preservation will never be my style. I am an emotive and effusive human and it reflects in all aspects of my life. And this leads me to muse – can a pile of human evidence indicate what or who a person was? I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was younger; to dig through the detritus of lives of antiquity. I wanted to ‘see’ lives that were long since past. Tromping in the deserts and hills and digging through dirt seemed fascinating and interesting. I still feel the same way when entering an abandoned house, or finding notes in margins of used books, or looking at people’s trash by the road on pick-up days. I’m not sure if I am nosy, insatiably curious or what. I don’t want to peer into people’s windows, so it isn’t voyeurism. Perhaps I seek the common humanity in us all.

I’ve found a place to park La Coquille! I go to pick first and second location choice this weekend. If I were not working I’d love the nomadic thing. But some stability is required around which to form new daily patterns. This place meets the many competing needs required of the people and plans that formulate my life:

Nature – proximity to multiple parks, bike trails, hiking trails, canoeing and fishing
Country locale – being only thirty minutes from my birthplace, it still harbors closely the state of the countryside from years gone by
Proximity to work and competing family interests – those advancing ahead of me and those coming up behind me

Overall, La Coquille allows me to have in hand something for my rental dollars while preserving the future potential travels and locales I’ve bandied about. The best of both worlds, albeit a tiny world.

What remains to be seen is how well this found place provides me with the solitude and privacy that I require to recharge and be the best me that I can be, while also easing me out of hermitess status a bit. My move date is ratcheted up by a few days and I’ll be running to and fro a lot, in addition to working, packing, attending to familial issues and celebrating another year of living on the planet.

A friend’s comment recently jiggled loose this group’s existence from my memory banks where they lay unappreciated for many years. This song is so lyrically astute and vulnerable. Plus, Bob Dylan’s and my hair often could be exchanged ๐Ÿ™‚ Perhaps one day, there will be someone I can sing this together with poorly, by a fire (did I mention I am a dead-on, hopeless romantic trapped in a pragmatic brain?)

And along the lines of the photo-pictorial background shots from the video, I’ve included an ‘evoloution of me’ photo collage from my wee years to my early 20’s for fun. Note the deadly serious photo for the HS yearbook. What’s up with that? LOL! I think I just wanted to be taken seriously for five minutes, and instead it is preserved in the annals of history as a look from a stern mother. I probably thought it was sexy and studious, one of which I was and the other which I was not, lol! (In case you’re confused, here is a hint: I graduated early, with Honors)

Evolution of 'me'

Evolution of ‘me’

Are you dizzy yet? I am, hah! But that could be from sleep deprivation and stress.

Have a marvelous day in your life of choice!

~SE in a tizzy of pack and play

  15 comments for “Memorabilicus – or The Umbilicus of Memory Found in Objects

  1. March 12, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    Reblogged this on SURVIVORS BLOG HERE.


  2. Randstein
    March 13, 2015 at 9:47 AM

    I enjoyed looking back with you. I have no idea how they got me and my truck full of stuff in their video. Could it be there is more than two of us collectors out there? It was a real treat to see and hear George Harrison and Roy Orbison again. Two voices silenced far too soon. But. they live on in a pure way through those collected artifacts of their existence. And, I think you should never part with the artifacts of your life. Sometimes it is the only proof we ever lived.

    Liked by 2 people

    • March 13, 2015 at 1:54 PM

      Hah! I thought that was *my* future truck!! Maybe my artifacts will one day reside in an exhibit labeled “Life of Ordinary Personages” or some such ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for tickling my memory about the Wilbury’s, I have too many musical groups cataloged to retrieve them all on whim!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. March 13, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    from Roger Ebert: “I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Parisโ€ (Ebert).

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 13, 2015 at 1:56 PM

      I love the mid-point of that quote, namely “… What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You canโ€™t say it wasnโ€™t interesting…” Great words of simplicity and truth.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. March 14, 2015 at 2:05 AM

    that is cool ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. March 20, 2015 at 11:32 AM

    I’m starting to pack and we can live side by side in our mini house. Since I wouldn’t drive it, I can be your home security while you hit the road. The trade off- copies of all photos taken on your journeys. Ok, no selfies or weird ones. If I didn’t need groceries I could stay shut in for months at a time.
    I had to laugh-you be taken serious for five minutes!!!!!!!!! maybe 2-3 minutes, no way five.
    Going thru the memories are bittersweet and a nugget of uncontrollable laughing can break out. Love the song.
    What’s the slang on the road these days? Happy Trails?

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 24, 2015 at 8:41 PM

      Yeah, five is stretching it (at least back then!) Stay tuned for some departing photos as I leave a place I’ve enjoyed and start scrambling around for more cool things to see from new perspectives ๐Ÿ™‚ Home security sounds good, but the Jack might feel displaced…? (he’s already peevish from having to be re-introduced to crating)

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 24, 2015 at 9:18 PM

        You and the kiddo are starting the next stage in your life, the best part, no alarm clock! The kid will freak until he meets his first hottie on the road. I think you should re-evaluate the wardrobe, get some Wranglers, shit kickers 1-2 pair and a nice selection of cowboy hats. Always have a can of skoal back pocket. What sane person would talk smack to a chick driving a house with a skoal ring on the Wranglers.!!!!!!!!


        • March 24, 2015 at 10:28 PM

          Ermmm, I *wish* I were entering the no-alarm-clock zone (sigh) Due to the surgery and the small addition to debt, that will most likely be another year in the making.
          And no, the Jack may NOT bring any girl dogs home. Perish the thought.
          Will have to think on the Wranglers, boots and Skoal option. I’m more worried currently about being run over by 3 wheelers with flags! Do you have a flag? (channeling Eddie Izzard)

          Liked by 1 person

          • March 25, 2015 at 12:39 AM

            You buy two huge American Flags to wave freely as cruse the open road. Jack may not get a sweet snuggle spot but he’ll at least get to see what a road babe looks like. I forgot earlier you must have a gun and know good kick ass tricks, you can always shoot them in the toe. I like the movie approach, just barely missing the boot. If you take the ” I don’t need a man to take care of me approach”, bad ass, then wear your jeans in your boots and make a cut a few inches down the back of boot. The worn boot tells people you are a self sufficient cowgirl not a Barbie cowgirl. I don’t see the Barbie part, who hikes to get groceries not Barbie!!!!!!!! You have a year you get your new groove on, what do you want to be when you grow up?

            Liked by 1 person

            • March 25, 2015 at 5:33 PM

              Do I have to grow up? Hm. A gardener in the woods, who writes on the side – that’s what I want to be.

              I’m already chastised by my mom for being ‘too much the little toughie’ these days, so probably ought not downright alienate the opposite gender, y’ think? It would be nice to have someone to putter in the garden with (once I have one again), and to bounce sentence fragments off of ๐Ÿ™‚

              Liked by 1 person

              • March 25, 2015 at 9:26 PM

                No you don’t have to grow up. I’m thinking that would be travel wear, if you are alone. I already know you are a toughie’. When visiting mom you wear the normal gear. Is she giving you a hard time for not dating? Wow, mom. I have no doubt you will build a great new life, some old, some new.
                Have a great day.


  6. March 25, 2015 at 9:54 AM

    “but what you gave.” All that matters in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 25, 2015 at 5:30 PM

      Agreed ๐Ÿ™‚ So…I should expect a nice box of yummy recipe cards from o’er the sea, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good to see you back on the blog a bit. Hope you and your lovely one are happy and well!


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