1. What objects from the past do you particularly treasure?
I treasure those objects that remind me of a time and place… Items that evoke a memory. Perhaps an object I picked up on my travels or some small item that has been with me in all the places I have ever lived. I have a small stone that has the word ‘harmony’ stamped on it that has been in each of my homes… It’s a reminder of continuity despite life’s changes. The items aren’t necessarily monetarily valuable, but they trigger a memory or hold sentimental value. In some instances they are items that are special to me because they came from someone special to me – dishes and a china cabinet that belonged to my now-deceased granny, or my wedding band.
2. Do you think that some objects from the past are best forgotten?
Yes!!! I’ve had relationships that were hard for me, and in those instances, I am not prone to retain items. I don’t keep items that remind me of unhappy times.
3. What intangible pasts (e.g. customs and languages) are meaningful to you?
I am very, very committed to traditions – both those of my past and those I am creating anew with my husband and children. For instance, I have always had a Christmas baking session each year since I was a child where I make all my favorite treats with family or friends and now my husband and I make a chocolate Yule log each Christmas Eve together, building on that tradition. We like to establish certain ritual habits for special times of year.
4. How is it best to preserve these intangible pasts?
I think it’s best to introduce the next generation to traditions and hope they carry them on.
5. If we save more and more objects and intangible pasts, is there a danger that there will be too much past in the future?
Not at all. If anything, in today’s disposable world there’s too little of our past in the future…
Female, 40s, marketing manager