Monday, October 31, 2016

the strangeness of memory

So this is what perplexes me, as I slowly unpack and re-arrange my office.  Some things I've carried round with me, from university office to university office, since my first over-heated glass room in Bristol in 1980 (where, indeed, I caused consternation among the cleaning staff by growing tomatoes on my windowsill - very tasty ones, too - it was about the only thing that I could do in that non a/c'd climate).  Some are more recent.  I'm trying to be selective, or at least rotate.  But where did these faded rose petals come from?  I know the origins of the bowl they're in - a gift from a friend in Oxford.  But whence the dried blossoms?  You'd think that, in some T. S. Eliotian, Four Quartets like way, that they'd take me back to some gift, some gesture, some ... something.  They seem like a clichéd repository for memory.  But the horrible truth is that I can't even remember which country they originated in, although I have a sense that maybe, yes, they were once pulled together in a small bunch.  Does this mean that I should throw them out, since they no longer appear to be the bearers of any significance?  Or what?

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