Friday, October 24, 2014

Acquisition Of Memory

    "The business of life, is the acquisition of memories."- Mr Carson, Downton Abbey.
     What we wear is so very much more than the things we throw on our backs; its our dreams and hopes, our future, and our past.  Our history is within the folds and threads, the colors and textures, the quite literal fabric of our being, joined to what we wear each day, though we seldom think of it with any depth.
    When I say we are joined literally I mean that.  The skin of our bodies, the hair on our heads, and the oils in our skin work their way into the weave of the cloth we wrap around ourselves, in ways that no machine can fully wash away.  We become one with our clothing, whether we think of it in those terms or not.  The more we wear something, the more imbued with us it becomes, and I don't mean in some evanescent spiritual sense. We leave some of ourselves inside our clothes, when we take them off.
    Conversely, the more we wear a garment, the more we value it.  The more history and seeming life it gains, makes us give it a great number of meanings; most often positive.  I say most often, since for the majority of us in the western world, wearing a garment a great deal means we like it, we choose it above other things we have because it makes us feel special, and more appealing.
    A pair of knock around boots we have worn on myriad wonderful hikes, is not only invested with our scent, but layered with the "can't be gotten out" dust and detritus of all those trips.  Seeing those boots, we remember, with fondness, maybe even wonder, seeing the Grand Canyon at dawn, or looking back up towards the rim of Haleakala Crater from within its huge expanse.
    The pale colored, crocheted baby clothes, put away for years, when drawn out at last, inspire endless remembrances of the birth of a child, and its swift growing up. And perhaps there is just a hint of the smell of baby powder as we open up the tissue paper.
    An LBD, bought on sale at the last minute for a party we didn't really want to go to, that came to be the go to dress, whenever it was time to party, because it fit so very well, and could be taken up a notch with ease by adding an accessory or two.  We remember it with a smile, not just because it does yeoman service, but because we feel beautiful in it, and its connected to fun and flirtation, and personal successes.
    Or perhaps a hoodie, grabbed from a rack in a second hand store, cause it looked and felt really soft and warm, plus the color was great, and it had an image screened on it that made us smile.  We picked that hoodie up off the floor and threw it on routinely. It became a friend, and constant companion, and so was full of stories, history and legends.
    Next time you go to your closet, take a minute and let your hands rest on some garment you go to often.  Take it out, hold it, sniff it,...and remember.

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