A Treasure Trove Of Memories: Souvenirs/Mementos/Keepsakes Jogging Creativity

Why People Collect Souvenirs

‘.A souvenir (from French, meaning “a remembrance or memory”), mementokeepsake, or token of remembrance is an object a person acquires for the the owner associates with it. A souvenir can be any object that can be collected or purchased and transported home by the traveler as a memento of a visit. The object itself may have intrinsic value, or be a symbol of experience. Without the owner’s input, the symbolic meaning is lost and cannot be articulated.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souvenir

‘People tend to keep things that are important to them. A silly trinket, or an old postcard, can rehash a thousand memories. The value of such memorabilia lies not in the objects themselves, but in the associated memories of a person, place or event. Salvaging and preserving such treasured memorabilia, allows these emotional connections, along with the piece, to be passed from generation to generation.’https://mkwcreative.com/memorabilia/

‘We all have a treasure box tucked on the top shelf of our closet. There is sits, laced in a layer of dust, sealed only by cobwebs. From the outside, our box is quiet and appears forgotten. Inside there is colorful evidence of adventure, love, beauty, travels and life. In the same box, with our most valuable treasures, are whatnots we no longer care about, illegible scribbled notes, and curiosities of no significance to us. Objects that glorify the beauty of our past hug objects that lack any meaning. On occasion, when we open that box, a breeze of nostalgia sweeps over our senses. Scents from our childhood along with a little dust tickle our nose. As memories flood our minds, goosebumps and sweet smiles serve as evidence of the value of each memento. We look around the room for a place to put a trinket picked up on our honeymoon, a photo from our childhood, but there is no room.’https://www.ipl.org/essay/The-Importance-Of-Souvenir-P388687EACP6

Writers Writing About Souvenirs

“Ever poised on that cusp between past and future, we tie memories to souvenirs like string to trees along life’s path, marking the trail in case we lose ourselves around a bend of tomorrow’s road.”

― Susan Lendroth

“My charge, then, in putting down my pen, and giving over this work to posterity, is this: Take the time. Take the time to preserve the stories, the photographs, the small mementos that mean so much. This is your legacy to future generations. Give it the attention it deserves. Your children and your grandchildren will thank you for it.”

― Laurence Overmire, One Immigrant’s Legacy: The Overmyer Family in America, 1751-2009: A Biographical Record of Revolutionary War Veteran Capt. John George Overmire and His Descendants

“There was a little sketch pad with a pink paper cover, a packet of handwritten notes in what looked like my grandmother’s handwriting, a silk scarf of water lilies on a blue background, a black fountain pen with an ornate silver hand on it, a book of poems by American poets with a number of pages dog-eared (I made a mental note to see if “Mending Wall” was in there), a magnifying glass with a carved wooden handle, a book called ‘Native Flowers of New England’ with a ragged cloth binding, another clothbound book called the ‘Berry Farmer’s Companion’, and a stack of twenty faded black-and-white photographs.”

― Mary Simses, The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe

“She picked through the bits of jewelry, the stud earrings and ruby ring that belonged to their mother, Shirin. There was something almost meditative about this ritual of hers, combing through the photos and small keepsakes, even if she touched on some painful memories. It was as if her fingers were actually tracing the milestones each piece represented…”

― Marsha Mehran, Rosewater and Soda Bread

How Souvenirs Can Help Writers Write

  • Souvenirs of travelling can help writers write travel logs or create exotic settings in their novels or poetry.
  • Keepsakes from a love affair can help to write about romance and passion.
  • Family mementos that have been inherited, passed on or discovered can help with memoirs, family biographies and historical novels. The sense of loss can help with all character writing and poetry.
  • Treasures from childhood can jog memories of childhood trips to the seaside and other family holidays, playing in nature or childhood collections. These can help with writing children’s stories and recalling childhood memories.
  • Journals, diaries, scrapbooks, photograph albums and letters are all a great resource for writing as they record times past and bring out emotional memories as we delve through them again.

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