Saturday, August 10, 2013

History Preserved... Are You A Keeper Of The Past?

I've always Enjoyed being a Keeper Of The Past, but I must admit that I probably never amassed any significantly Historic and meticulously Curated Treasures like my Friend Hugh has.  His Museum Quality Collections just blow me away, I haven't even seen many Museums Exhibiting the range that he has!!!  Especially his Museum Quality Collections of Old Photographs, Tintypes and Daguerreotypes... the Fabulous Native American Tribals from the 1800's being my Personal Favorites.  I'd Love to have the means to own some of these!
The range and varieties of his Collections are vast though, anything Significant he's probably got an Impressive Collection of... and just about all of it is the REALLY Good Stuff that will make those who have a Love of Old and Preservation of History salivate and want to spend hours soaking it all in!!! 

And his Knowledge about his pieces is as vast as his Collections!  I've Learned and been Mentored about so much since he is very Generous about Sharing and passing along his Wisdom to anyone Interested.  I often feel as though those who have taken the time to have such Wisdom should be Interviewed extensively so that it can all be Preserved along with the Historical Treasures they have spent their entire Lives being Passionate about.  But I often Wonder, how small a percentage of the Population would even Care or express any Interest in such History?

It seems to me that each successive Generation seems to Care less and less about Preserving what Was because they're so intent on the Next New Thing coming out... quickly discarding what just came out before it.  This has become a very Disposable and Insatiable Generation and I often Wonder if they will some day Regret not Preserving or Caring about at least some of what their History will some day be?

Even with all of the Amazing Technology constantly Evolving and making things better, easier and more Convenient... I see very little of it actually being Utilized for Preservation Purposes.  Digital Cameras and Electronic Devices that have Cameras as part of the 'Package' have made Photography so Inexpensive and able to be Edited Superbly by virtually anyone... yet I rarely see anyone Creating a Hard Copy anymore for an Album.  Or even keeping their Archives Online for very long before Deleting them to make room for MORE and exclusively RIGHT NOW!    Most seem to tire of things so quickly and are On To The Next and will never look back fondly at what Was that could have a Memory or Sentiment attached to it some day.
And because it has become so Prevalent, so Common... I have even found myself falling into the habit occassionally!  *Gasp!*  Yes, there have been times I've forgotten to make hard copies of some of my Favorite Images to put into our Photo Album Library that someone could peruse without sitting in front of a Computer.   I've found myself toying with the Idea of Deleting Archived Blog Posts and Photo Folders Online to 'make room' for MORE!   Or make the Assumption that probably nobody goes back and reads or looks at the Archived Posts anyway, so is it even still relevant except to me?

 And I've had to remind myself to resist that Temptation because I know I would have some Regrets, and I'm one to prefer Living without Regrets. Knowing that once something is Lost or Obliterated and not Preserved, it is very likely Lost Forever and cannot be Retreived or adequately Replicated.  And I'm not Implying to keep every stupid little thing and go overboard with the Process of Preservation, but I am saying that some things are certainly Worth Preserving and for a variety of valid reasons both Personally and perhaps even Historically for the benefit of Mankind.
Or perhaps because of their Beauty, Content and Workmanship... since Mass Production is also quickly replacing doing anything by Hand or being OOAK and Unique. Even the Written Word is becoming a thing of the Past!   Some Young People cannot even read or write Cursive anymore, or don't read actual Books, I was Shocked!!!  But maybe I shouldn't be... More Money can be made mass producing anything than having an Artist or Writer Create each piece laboriously.

 Perhaps that is why I'm also drawn so strongly to Upcycling and Repurposing those Hand-Made Treasures and giving them New Life.  To perhaps be Preserved in some form and Appreciated for the Labor of Love that they were, being Created by Hand and having a real person Invest their Precious Time, Talents and Treasures to bring them to Life originally.
In this Age of Fast Convenience Foods and Disposable Dinnerware I'm the one that likes to sometimes still make something from scratch and serve it up on something Beautiful and Special.  Even if it isn't a completely Preserved Set of Fine China... but instead could be a mismatched ensemble of Orphaned pieces I've Rescued and find Appealing being melded together as a 'Set' of sorts.  Or were the 'Insignificant' and 'Cheap' pieces of their day that few of that Generation Valued like we might now. 

 Mom always lamented that few had their 'Best China' to Present an Offering to Guests upon or for Special Occassions anymore and make the Gift Of Hospitality and Celebrations all the more Special and Extraordinary rather than Ordinary and Mundane, as well as making the Guest Feel Special and Honored.  Not that you had to own something necessarily Expensive or you had to be Bourgeois, Mom was never Bougie, but in her Day and Culture, Serving your Guests anything but your Best would be considered Insulting, Improper and downright Rude.  There was a Formality, Tradition and Ritual attached to the Serving and Hosting, even if there was Informality and total Comfort in the actual Relationship.

 I remember the look on her face the first time she was a Guest somewhere and the Hostess Served her something on a paper plate with the drink in a Dixie Cup!  *LOL*  She was Gracious and Polite about it, but I knew that Culturally for her it was an uncomfortable Moment and a Shock, until she got used to the fact that it's not meant to be what she Assumed, it's just the way it often now is.  But I better know better when she came to our Home for Tea or I Invited her to Dinner!  *Winks*  And when you went to Mom's, she always made you Feel like Royalty as her Guest, whether you were a Stranger, Family or Friend, everyone was treated to the Utmost in the Gift Of Hospitality done 'Old School Style' and so it made even the most Simple of Offerings and Gatherings like an Event!
And because a Host has to Invest more of themselves to go All Out like that, I Personally always Feel so Appreciative of their Efforts because it is so Thoughtful and places Value on the Guest(s), whoever it is or however often they come over.  Mom also always gave everyone all of her Attention and was fully Present and Absorbed in the Relationship in front of her and the Moment, rather than distracted by anything or everything else.  I always try to Mirror that Gift to people, because it too is fast becoming a Lost Art.

And I say that because I'm quite Certain that just about all of you have had someone nowadays ask how you're doing and then not stick around long enough to hear the Answer?!   Or worse, perhaps not  even Care what the Answer might be... so why even Ask?!?  Obviously it was by rote and not because they necessarily wanted or needed to know or expected you to respond. 
And I often look around at people together doing something that SHOULD BE Social and Relational, yet each, or some, are constantly distracted by their Technological Devices.  Devices that have almost become replacements for Real Face To Face Relationships and are a Gadget Umbilical Cord they probably couldn't Imagine Living without being Connected to and would be Lost without.  Though they obviously are somehow able to Live without being properly Relational in the Moment when allegedly Socializing, how strange indeed!
To me, being a Keeper Of The Past and Preservation isn't just about Stuff... but also about Traditions, Rituals and Relationships as well.  I Value my Old Friends... and it's not to say I don't Value the New Ones too... but Shared History is something Truly Priceless and irreplaceable as well.  When you get to a certain Season of Life you realize that you just probably don't have enough Time left on this Earth and years in front of you anymore to have the New Friends be around long enough to share as much History with you as the Old Friends have over a Lifetime of Friendship.   If I meet and Befriend you Today, as Awesome as you are, it is doubtful we may Invest another Fifty plus Years in our Relationship unless I reach the Age of Methuselah!  *LOL*
History Preserved... yes, I Feel it is VERY Important to me... are YOU a Keeper Of The Past too my Friends?
Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. Keeper of the past? Certainly not to the extent of some - but more than many. I HAVE thought about this a little bit.....Every generation has more "past" to preserve in sheer volume alone! The task is cumbersome and not everyone has the "shoulders" to do it along with everything else life throws at them.

    What an interesting segment your friend Hugh has amassed.....

  2. Oh you are so right~~ some things are certainly Worth Preserving and for a variety of valid reasons both Personally and perhaps even Historically for the benefit of Mankind.

    Love the post-- the Hand..Indian photo up top and the lace lamp all wonderful (:)

  3. Hi Dawn, How are you & the Man doing...well I hope...Having a wonderful summer...This was such an amazing write...I agree with all of fact I am making a keepsake album of my daughter's baby shower with actual pictures, corners & the whole ball of wax....Technology tires me out at times...there is no substance to anything anymore...nothing has time & effort invested...everything has to be NOW!!! sometimes yesterday... I love to preserve history especially family is so important...many do is a huge loss when they do not...I LOVE the native pictures...It shows such pride in a culture & heritage.....I am not sure where it is anymore...I remember my gram serving tea & watercress sandwiches on elegant dishes...I manage to get one of them & cherish it mightily...This was wonderful Dawn Thanks for invoking such good memories while lamenting the loss....that wooden door...<3

  4. l agree now are always on their iphones and ipads and Xboxes. Mum and l wonder if everything in the world went extinct, would any of them notice or even care....course we're only joshing...kinda.

  5. Crochet lamp shade! And the tea set! Oh I think I shall faint!


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl