1. What objects from the past do you particularly treasure?
A sock monkey named Monk. He has been with me everyday since I was born, in some form or another. If he isn’t physically with me I carry his picture. He is the sibling I never had. He currently resides on the floor of my wardrobe with a few other childhood stuffed toys. I see him as the granddad, the wizened old man of playthings. There are trinkets from family members and ephemera from travels that rate a spot in the metaphorical file box, but Monk is always the first.
2. Do you think that some objects from the past are best forgotten?
I have had many ‘memory bonfires’ to rid myself of objects from the past and related attachment. The success rate is questionable.
3. What intangible pasts (e.g. customs and languages) are meaningful to you?
Tradition. The commemoration of events (no matter how small) with an event (no matter how small). The celebration of life, if you will, with a family twist that makes it unique and yet familiar.
4. How is it best to preserve these intangible pasts?
Practice and performance. Repetition and change.
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?
The past is always part of the future, whether tangible or intangible. But it is also never completely in the past. Objects and practices and relationships to objects and practices change with time despite the best efforts of preservation.
Female, 30s, lapsed academic/mother