Preserving memories.

This is my entry for Tara's Gallery over at Sticky Fingers. The theme this week is Memory.

Our first year in Turkey. One of our very first trips - to Cappadocia. We're overcome by the sights of the fairy chimneys, the pureness of the air, the way the people look like peasants, wearing traditional gear, not like tourist touts. We've seen the churches, carved inside the rock, painted in amazing blues and greens, the faces of the saints scratched out by later Christians who weren't fond of iconism, and everywhere, the Pantecrator, looking down at you like a benign, and slightly spaced out hippy.

Our first walk down a valley, getting our feet wet in a river that wasn't supposed to be flooded, and climbing up onto the fairy chimneys to stay dry. Not knowing how to climb down, and then, Charlotte, not yet two, decides that it's a pretty cool slide, so we all get down on our bums. Getting lost and not being quite sure how to get back before sundown. The stone looks pink as the sun is getting lower in the sky. Finding our way back via a pension owner, a glass of tea, a broken down taxi trying to get past a herd of goats led by a boy not much bigger than Max is now. Back to the comfortable hotel, and a dry pair of socks.

Then to the village, with its carpet shops. More glasses of tea are brought to us, we stir sugar with a tiny spoon, and the glass tinkles. My mother calls it the sound of Turkey. Carpets are spread out, and as it's our first time - now we're experts, of course (at least my husband is: he can tell where a carpet is from, down to the nearest village. I can tell how old it is.) - but back then we don't know; so as it's our first time, the salesman can do his whole spiel and we love it. He shows us stuff, all new (now we only buy old). It's expensive, of course. Not really, but more than we're used to spending on things to decorate the house (we're just about coming out of graduate student flats, and we brought our Matisse posters with us. We're thinking of getting them framed - after all, we're thirty now).

He shows us some small colourful things, embroidered with animals. I think chicken. But, no, he says birds. We like one of them. It's small, and it looks precious. We have no conception of what our flat is going to look like ten years from now, its entire floors and walls covered in thick wool carpets, woven by women from all over Turkey, many years ago. We think we can afford it so we bring it home. It is precious. Our very first.

Five years later it's relegated to the kiddies' room, as we no longer find it fits with our decor. Then we notice it's beginning to curl and we want to make sure it doesn't get ruined. It's an important memory.
And memory is something we have a problem with in this family. Half of us are incapable of remembering where we've put our keys, hats, snow gloves, money, phone. The other half is forever running around retrieving them from strange places. So the carpet becomes a memory saver.

I attached some smaller carpet pouches on it, and hung it on the wall. There's one at the top for letters. We put them there so we remember to deal with them - bills, letters from school. Another one for papers that need filing, like receipts. At the bottom we keep all our phone and camera chargers. And next to it Max's drawing things, to be picked up before we take him anywhere. Anywhere.
The smallest pouch in the middle was to be for the keys. They never did find their way there, and we're still hunting for them every day.

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@jencull (jen) said...

Great idea and a lovely way to keep it in use too:) Jen

Michelloui said...

Thats a really clever idea. And I like that you wanted to keep it because of the memory. I try to declutter every so often and I do get rid of some things that no longer 'work' in my house decor but there's some things that will never ever go!

kateab said...

Great idea for reuse! Love it.

Anonymous said...

Evening Ladies :-)
What a great use for your carpet, I hope it survives for many a year yet.

Sandrine said...

Thank you all! Yes, I liked being able to keep the carpet without having to shove it in a cupboard or under a bed... Also, all the small carpet bags we used were given to the children over the years by a carpet salesman friend. They never used them 0 why use a bag when you can ask your mother to carry something for you! - and they used to hang off chairs and door handles, cluttering like nobody's business. And yet they had sentimental value...so it was the perfect solution for them too!

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