At the back of a deep cupboard was a box. Quite how it escaped a couple of house moves and many clear outs I don’t know but we opened it up to find my tax forms and receipts from the early 90’s through to the mid 2000’s. The memories flooded back, visits made, articles written, lectures presented, meals eaten, materials bought. It was a more powerful trigger than photos (I’ll leave Proust out of it on this occasion). The receipts brought back the minutiae which at the time seemed so important but had been forgotten.
In TS Elliot’s The Love Song of Alfred J Purfrock, Mr P has measured out his life with coffee spoons and I decided we measured our life with receipts. Was that trip and the delicious meal really twenty years ago? Even the design of those old carbon credit card copies bought back powerful memories. Life seemed immensely complex in the mid 90’s and skimming through the receipts and the credit card statements they made me realise it was overcomplicated but rewarding.
So where did this all lead?
To the shredder.
What do you measure your life with? CD’s, photos, letters…coffee spoons?