Blaes, on Memory. Sling Diaries, Vol VII.

December 20, 2017

The Sling Diaries, Volume VII. A photo-documentary chronicling the art of baby wearing in the lives of families around the world. Over the course of six months, Sling Diarists will create their own Sling Diary though a series of diary entries interpreting a unique theme given to them each month.

Meet all of our Sling Diarists here.

ON MEMORY 

I would sneak into my grandparents' attic during family meals, escaping the laughter and buzz of my fifteen cousins downstairs.  Fingers expertly thumbing through old pictures, files of my father's and his siblings' old school work, and letters written between my grandparents during their courtship.  This vast space was filled from floor to ceiling with mementos from every stage of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood; it was where my ten year old self could get lost for hours, assembling the history of the people I loved by touching their stashed away things. 
There is something really magical to me about seeing all of the memories someone keeps stored away, not on display in the family room; these memories, the ones that fill files and cardboard boxes, are the most precious, hallowed memories. 
We balance ourselves between two worlds. The world of our progression and growth and the swells that move us through to the next stage of our lives.  And the world of remembering home as it used to be; recollecting who we and our loved ones once were, sometimes with tangible items to help us remember.  
I have always been drawn to these physical tokens, a sentimentalist from very early on.  I dare say I have never thrown a letter or card away--I have birthday cards from kindergarten.  Every year or so, I have to clean out my bedside table so that I can open the drawers with ease, making hard cuts on small treasures that I have stored away to look at again one day.  Will I remember that fun evening with friends if I toss the cocktail napkin from the bar?  Do I really need to hold onto evidence of the parking ticket I got after eating sushi and chasing down the meter maid? Keep every Christmas card I've ever been sent?
And a big part of me wants to hold onto these little snippets of my life so that my children or grandchildren might one day want to sit down in a full attic and explore what our lives used to look like.  The truth is that all of the tangibles I want to hold onto are simply at risk items in my home. These perilous, precious children of mine, they have broken a thousand heirlooms I was never meant to keep. 

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