Friday, June 11, 2010
The eyes of a stranger stared back at me from the bin on the counter.Something about that gaze, haunted me. It's a look I've seen before. It seemed to shout, "Help me find my way back home. I want to go home." I asked out loud, "How did your picture end up here?" But the truth be told, I already knew. Discarded deliberately or carelessly... there was no one left,who cared enough to keep them safe. No one, except the shopkeeper... hoping to make a few bucks. Years of clutter accumulate in our homes, as we age.Souvenirs of a bygone era, keep us clinging to the memories. Along the way, we part with a few odds and ends. But not enough to make a dent in the history of our lives.When the time comes to WRAP our EXISTENCE... someone else must come in to sort through all the stuff, we've left behind. It is an arduous task... to whittle down the remains of a persons life... into a KEEP or DISCARD pile. If family does it... the sentimental value of an old tool, piece of jewelry, easy chair, painting, blanket or sewing basket takes on new meaning... to our loved ones. Our history lives. But if strangers do it... material value is all that matters. EVERYTHING becomes MARKETABLE. Even the photographs, that in life, we cradle in the palms of our hands... to relive the most intimate moments of a life, lived... can be sold, without smiles or tears, after our deaths... obliterating our personal history, in the blink of an eye. And if there is no family left to care... this is exactly what happens. HOW sad to have lived, loved and be FORGOTTEN by time. In the END, we too could wind up in an antique shop, staring helplessly out of a bin, on a countertop... in an old photograph marked $3.50... wondering if a stranger will happen by, to take us home again.