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How do you store your old letter and other memories? - - stationery by subscription - Photo by Elena Ferrer on Unsplash

Do you keep your personal correspondence?  Do you look through it on a rainy afternoon and recall memories of people and places long gone? The idea of a stack of letters tied up with a ribbon is glorious. The reality is less romantic and much messier.

The ribbon is too slippery to hold the envelopes together. They are all different sizes anyway. You can’t put letters in order because some are undated. You could check the postmark if only you still had the envelope. The drawer is full to bursting so you simply cram a new letter on top and close it quick!

Correspondence and communications take so many forms these days. Consider the assortment of emails, text messages, and instant messages which fill your day and your inbox. Then there are letters which come too often as junk mail and not nearly often enough from friends. There are birthday cards, invitations and notes to remember to buy a cake. Telephone messages, gift tags, and sticky notes (real and virtual) left on your PC.

Choosing the ephemera to keep

Which do you keep? Which should you keep? Even after weeding out the junk mail, the number of communications is dazzling. There are only so many that can be squeezed between the pages of a diary, pinned on a board or stored somewhere safe.

For me, the most important thing is not to hold onto the past too much but not to let go completely. Keep enough of it for good memories but not so much that you forget to enjoy the present and anticipate the future. After all, for every letter that makes you laugh or smile or cry, there will be a dozen that after so much time has passed means nothing.

Do you keep your letters, card and other bits of paper ephemera? Where do your memories live?

Photo by Elena Ferrer on Unsplash