On Totems (Or Lasting Impressions)

Recently, I have been exchanging letters with a few friends. (To the younger readers in the audience, a letter is like an email that you would write by hand onto a sheet of paper. Then you would put it into an envelope to be mailed by the Postal service to the appropriate recipient. The Postal Service is like Amazon shipping but paid for with taxes and far slower and less efficient) We all caught up, now? Anyhow…

I have been writing to two friends, whom you may be somewhat familiar with, Brandon Strubberg and Bryan Honeycutt. In all honesty, it began with a suggestion from Bryan to begin this odd letter writing campaign. Admittedly, I did not fully understand why he had this idea, but as I have learned, it is usually better to just go along with his plans as long as nothing illegal is going on. 

I had been exchanging letters with Bryan primarily, so I was pleasantly surprised when I received a letter from Brandon. I wanted to respond immediately, however, Honeycutt told me to hold off until I had acquired decent stationary. See, my compatriots had been writing on fancy paper while I had been using simple College Ruled loose leaf. Why should I use fancy paper if what really matters are the words on it? Once again I acquiesced to Bryan’s suggestions and he was right…this time. (Don’t let it go to your head!)

Obviously, the content of the letters matter more than the material they are written on, but at the same time there is a purpose and reason behind this act of writing. We could easily call, text, or email one another to converse, but those would be casual, fleeting conversations. On the other hand, these letters are meant to last longer and be as totems that mark memories and the passage of time. 

Why do you keep movie stubs, concert tickets, or even pieces of nature from trips and hikes? Do these things matter? Will you honestly forget the experience or memory if you lost these things? Probably not, but they help jog the mind and act as keepsakes to hold onto. This was Bryan’s intent with the letter writing, which he neglected to mention when beginning this project…but whatever. 

I like to imagine that someday in the distant future I’ll be drinking a smooth scotch on a porch reading over some of the letters we exchanged remembering good friends who helped make good times. I suppose on that far off day, I’ll be glad to have used higher quality paper. 

So, what are some of your special objects or totems that hold significance or memories? 

Since we are on the subject anyway, Honeycutt, it lives!

May he never be turned to red.

May he never be turned to red.

The Sentry Gathers…

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2 thoughts on “On Totems (Or Lasting Impressions)

  1. May he never be turned to red. *bowing*
    I like the idea of a totem. Hadn’t really thought about the letters in that respect but it’s certainly an apt description. I suppose I’m collecting diplomas now (cough DOUCHEBAG cough). Just look at that paper and reflect for awhile on all the shit that went into getting it. We poured a lot of time into a piece of paper, but I like to think we kept more than just the document itself.

    • You were dangerously close to DOUCHEBAG territory there buddy, but you managed to redeem yourself at the last second. Though I do agree with the diploma as a totem idea. After all, the diploma itself isn’t worth much, but the experience of acquiring and the memories attached to it hopefully are timeless.

      I think the tube might be going on some adventures and I am going to document it through photos. Thoughts?

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