Ahhhh…two of my favorite things today:
Rain and Ephemera.
Sunday my sister and I went to an old book and paper show. Wow. Don’t roll your eyes so hard, they might fall out. It was cool! You should try it before making fun of me and calling me a nerd. Anyway the term is probably geek. Twice a year my town hosts the biggest book and paper show in the “midwest”, and there are treasures like 1st editions, autograhped copies of bestsellers, rare books, miniature books, and loads and loads of ephemera!
I have a thing for ephemera.
I only discovered recently that old crap like menus from resteraunts that are no longer around was called ephemera. Well I’ve been collecting this stuff forever. And at these book shows I get all the coolest stuff, like this fun book on old medicine for animals.
I wonder who this person was, and what there stay was all about. Business meeting? Clandestine rendezvous with a scandalously clad woman? Running away from a gorey murder site he doesn’t want to be connected with? Is that why he lost his appetite and never ate his meal?
And how about this treasure, my little green bottle? What fabulous medicine was in here? Nerve tonic? Opium? (yummm) Laudenum? To add to its personal value, its from an old pharmacy here in my local town.
But this is my great find of the day – nay – of years! My own Penny Dreadful, and he’s a rascally little guy…
i love ephemera. i don’t mean to be obsessed about it, but i collect and gather things that other people would toss in the bin; menus (like, multiple menus. i have a thousand from favorite spots, and ones from places i’ll never go again); seminar flyers; comicon notices. whenever i go somewhere and there is literature lying around, i snap it up. i collect and save books and magazines, old and used.
i take these old bits of book and do something like this with them:
i’m supposed to be working on my book today. for those of you who are frequent flyers here at accidental happiness airlines, you may recall that i am writing a book of memoirs. no? oh, well i did tell you, so you must have missed that blog. this was the weekend i intended to finish up the final editing; but life’s little lessons get in the way, and i see i must face some of my demons before i share them with the world.
Demon #1: Shyorcifel (also known as fear of intimacy)
i’ve been getting in touch with friends from my past, and i see that the vast majority of folk my age have spouses and children and homes. i began to scold myself today for not having a lover, and what is wrong with me, and all of that kind of thing. but i realized pretty quickly that the reason i am still single is that i never let anyone get close, and i never let men (or most of my friends for that matter) see the real me. it’s scary to think that you would hope in someone to love you on your worst day, with a big juicy zit on your nose, and no makeup on, walking around in yoga pants with holes in the ass, and then your supposed to trust that this person loves you when they’ve been around you at these times? when you’ve done something sinister or selfish? when you’ve told about your horrid past and how messed up you are? see, it’s easier to just never get to that level.
and that’s why i’m still single. so i have to wrestle with the intimacy demon and work out the kinks in my emotional vulnerability quotas.
Demon #2: Keeperoscipase (also known as Obssessive Hoarding)
ok, i’m not actually a hoarder. i lovingly refer to it as ‘being a Picker’. i collect. and while i love my books and papers and ephemera, my toys and clothes and crafts, i’m not going to be auditioning for “Hoarders” anytime soon. but – having watched my first episode today – i can see that i am made of the same fabric as these others. we are people who are afraid.
afraid of losing someone. afraid of letting go of the past. afraid of living in the now, and the uncertainties of life. afraid of forgetting something, or not having what we need, or throwing away something important or of value.
afraid of letting people in. afraid of looking deep inside. afraid of admitting we’ve been hurt, killed, beaten, worn down, abused, neglected and abandoned. afraid of being seen for what we are: weak, vulnerable, and hurting.
but hey! look at that. the entire human race is in this category. and while i might wash my hands too many times after tucking away another thirty copies of fiction titles i’ll never read, you might be socking down your thirteenth bottle of Labatts, or losing the use of your right arm due to a slip up with a bookie.
we’re all of us broken, wounded, beautiful creatures. and the fascinating part of life is watching each of us uncover the treasure beneath all the outer layerings of crap.