Memory boxes

I’m starting on a new storybox, like ‘Orpita’ its in a frame, a tiny world caught in four walls, watched through glass, telling its tale setting its puzzles, watching us looking in.
Upcycled, reused, rediscovered brought back into a current story the items within like ‘Orpita’ are charity shop sought, herbal again and bringing their own stories together will fit together in a new way to tell a new story.
The moment it came: the inspiration, it hit like a solar flare whipping translucent colour across my starlit brain, layers of deep blue, arced like ribbons as the idea grew and folding rapidly, like grosgrain, like the aurora outside my window, shimmering in part, matte and hidden layers revealing more detail from differing angles, textured colours, depth and divide, plumes of smoke clear to reveal the start of the path the end yet to unfurl…
Where to start…..whats the story….some of the constituents I imagine I still have, maybe they will reveal the story?
 At the top of every cupboard i have, there is a memory box, some sealed: the sagas that have ended and need no further chapters, kept maybe for inspection, for memory in years to come. Some overflow and require constant monitoring, the stories are still fluid: ever changing, like a an epic  still in its early chapters, developing and clarifying. This one: one of mine, filled with chapters now completed, but like a classic fiction, although no longer electrifying, there to be greeted like old friends, nuances once forgotten interesting to revisit. There are, I suppose, useful items hidden in there… I imagine the black vintage handbag embroidered with roses I got at a flea market in Bath in 1985, a hanky blooming with lavender from a market at the Angel in 1988….although absent they’re stronger in my mind than half the present contents, they’ve gone, they’re elsewhere…telling tales behind my back, knowing I’ll never catch them…. Like careless ex lovers they can be replaced with new treasures, better served to create a beautiful storybox…
Our memory boxes are functional, ikea, clear plastic, the contents somewhat less so, shrouded by treasured bags and musty silk scarves, theres always scope for some editing, some things passed on, or changing location. Some things being added, life’s like that, stories are like that…can be passed on to someone new for retelling, re-editing, can be adapted, retold, enjoyed and rediscovered once again, then packed away once more…
There’s the puppet fox, my mum used to make them, full of character, soft moth eaten felt, my mum had a market stall at one time, I used to go to work with her, proud of my sales skills from an early age…
Theres the badge from a valentines card from a love long gone…
A plastic toy tiger, the elephants it used to hang with doubtless trumpeting through the soil of a garden far away, released by my brother back into the wild…
A metal calender….a childs hand reaches for it, “whats this, how does it work…show me”, it used to sit on my grandparents fireplace next to the misshapen glass dolphins. The piper no longer turns the numbers by date, I resurrect it for one brief moment, long enough to revise the school homework topic of days of the week sufficiently to have covered that chore, blended into a form more profound.
Then in a tumble it topples, she fits it together again quicker than she ever can a jigsaw…
A pom pom hedgehog she made me age 2, a tiny pair of gloves I wore in my hair age 14, a cat I sewed for my dolls house aged 8, my birth tag…there we are back at my beginning…
Memory boxes are good for everyone, whether manifest or brain stored, they tell stories, ones we might forget, like props they act as triggers to remind us not only of the epic, huge events, but the detail, the pictures the close visuals, the snapshots, the flavour, the scents like the last drops of an old perfume I saved when it was discontinued and I went on to find new scents; our changes and routes. They give insights when reviewed and provide moments of empathy and recognition to our children and those we share them with.
The new storybox is coming together, I know what it looks like, I can see it, delve into it in my head, I watch it grow…..over peppermint and liquorice tea, my adrenaline warming as  telling the detail brings me to life… I tell my Mum, she can see it too. I say ‘but is it a story where does it sit…’
She knows; as she speaks: I know; even before the words form: its a list, a list story, like a memory box: which of course it is: it will be: a reminiscence in manifest, list stories are great, like the memory box: they get people talking, sharing memories, leading to their own stories…all those stories shared, coming together, to form something new….

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