I used to collect bookmarks. I had a whole little basket full of them. Most I had purchased, or someone had made for me. One, a friend brought back from England for me. It was a representation of a “jam butty” – a piece of bread with jam smeared on it. This and other bookmarks like it were meant to represent things actually found in books. Oh my…
Despite having all those bookmarks, though, I rarely used a real bookmark when I was reading – although I promise you I never used a real jam butty!
I usually marked my place in books with a piece torn off a paper napkin, or a tissue, or perhaps the subscription card out of a magazine. Now I often use the hold slip that identifies a book for me on the shelf at the library.
Still, I enjoyed looking through them from time to time, and remembering the circumstances in which I’d acquired it. I no longer have that collection, which I regret. I suppose that I “decluttered” them at some point. I do have a few, like the one in the photo above. I couldn’t declutter that one!
There are other bookmarks in our lives these days, as well – the many webpages we save in our bookmarks on our computers. Those are very handy things, but I confess mine are as jumbled as the ones in my long-ago basket. And I admit mine need decluttering!
Internet bookmarks are very handy, especially for those of us who are writers and who do a lot of online research. It’s amazing the things we accumulate in the name of research!
It seems to me that memories are another form of bookmark – a way to mark our place at a special event in our lives so that we can go back and relive it. Unfortunately, we don’t have as much choice in what gets bookmarked in our experiences, so there are some negative ones marked as well as the positive.
It is so good to be able to go back in our mind’s logbook and find a place we’ve marked, to relive that scene, or to remember a person who has died. Such memories are treasures, as are the pages we bookmark in other ways and for other reasons.
Here’s one of the little bookmarks in my memories. On November 30th, 1960, my grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. A beautiful table was set up in their dining room. Many photos had been taken.
I’m grateful that I wasn’t told “No” – which could have been a logical response. This memory speaks to me now of love and acceptance and understanding, and I am grateful. I’m also grateful my memory bookmarked this event for me.
In celebration of the letter B, I’d like you to think back on some precious memories you have bookmarked in your mind’s logbook. You don’t need to share them unless you want to, but I’d like you to have that warm feeling of remembrance on this day.
And just for fun, here’s a website I bookmarked, called Forgotten Bookmarks, compiled by a person who is a used and rare bookseller and who comes across some very odd things used as bookmarks. It makes fascinating reading!
(As I mentioned last week, this year I’m using the alphabet as inspiration for my weekly blog posts. I hope to see you back next week, to find out what C is for.)