Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ephemeral

This article about a mandala being created in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral inspired this blog update. I meant to post it earlier - it's been in draft form for almost a month now...

I didn't grow up with the typical inventory of toys most children had in the '80s. Though I never had a Barbie doll, a bicycle or roller skates, I had cousins who did.

I did manage to amass plastic knick-knacks from various vending machines acquired during trips to the grocery store with my parents. I also had a few stuffed animals including a fluffy white teddy bear (a standout in my memory), a variety of Sanrio products, and a fat baby penguin with the longest eyelashes. It was about 15 inches tall, shaped like a big white gumdrop with a black head. But I digress.

So I started treasuring things most people throw away, especially things that don't take up much space, things made of paper. I have a collection of bus passes and transfers, movie stubs, souvenir programs from school plays. And tons of love letters and notes from my one-and-only. The ephemera has evolved to actual Playbills from the Symphony and various plays and musicals, concert tickets, birth announcements and wedding invitations from friends and family, along with graduation announcements from nieces and nephews, retirement invitations even some death notices and prayer cards.

In my own way, I guess I've been making a mandala. Made with paper souvenirs and ephemera. I do take inventory once in a while, even laying them out, sometimes taking photos too, to remember the people and events that have enriched my life. And someday, when I reach the good old age of __, I hope to burn it all at a great big campfire.