April 11, 2013

I wear your Grandad's clothes

Cardigan- Vintage, Estate Sale
Chambray Shirt- Thrifted
Hipster pants- Thrifted, altered by me
Shoes- Target
Earrings- Target
Bear Pin- Aillwee Cave, Ireland

Some mornings you just wake up cranky and need to dress like a grandpa.With sparkly shoes. Then you take a nap at your lunch break and things are much better.

When I went to Ireland (ALMOST NINE YEARS AGO) we were required to wear a lanyard with a name tag whilst out in a group. We took to adding pins to our lanyard from each place we visited. Most of the kids bought some pin with the name of the place that happened to be cheap. I decided after one or two like that, to pick out ones I knew I'd want to keep forever, things that represented that place to me in my mind.  What's funny is I don't remember too awful much about the cave. I get really claustrophobic and large groups in dark caves don't help much. But on that trip I made an effort to try and absorb as much of every experience I could. I remember a tiny snippet of the guest shop and thinking it looked too much like a Rainforest Cafe (blech) , I remember a few facts the guide gave us mostly about an Irish farmer who found the cave, I remember the praying hands (I have pictures and they are rotten , and I remember that one of the "rich kids" was freaking out about his international cell phone not working (oh 2004). I don't know why I chose a bear pin for that location. I don't even remember if bears had anything to do with the cave in general. But everytime I spot this pin, a series of images flash in my mind and make me happy. I see The Burren sprawling out before me, the flash of some ancient carvings I spotted on the side of a road as we drove by, the burnt out and abandoned manor with a pretty gruesome tale attached, The Cliffs of Moher in all their glory, the dark gloomy sky, rain pouring down upon the multiple shades of green on the earth... I had no clue then that this tiny little pin would pack so much memory into it's shape.

I absolutely adore how small objects create such vivid memories, like some sort of USB that as soon as we plug in, we get to relive a little part of our past. I have a chapstick that everytime I use it I instantly go back to another instance on that same trip, though in Wales. Eating a picnic on the lawn outside a castle getting ready to leap off the side of the tallest tower. When I used the chapstick then, it reminded me of my favourite thrift shop (where they sold the chapstick), of home, it was comforting as I prepared myself to leap off a building with naught but a harness and rope to keep me from imminent doom (I still fell on my butt). But now, now it's a trigger for all the anxiety, trying to keep my cool, looking out over some body of water eating a dry chicken sandwich and salt & vinegar crisps, using a small object to give me comfort.

Lately I've been terribly wanderlusty. I just want to go out and do new things, see new places, meet new people. Or go old places and do old things with newer eyes and a better wardrobe. I keep trying to come up with grand schemes to travel the world this year. It's not that I don't appreciate where I am right now, I do, I know it's necessary, that I do love much about it, and that as soon as I step foot on new soil, I will long for it.  But I guess that's what I want. I want to see the world, and remember why I love the tedium of home, knowing that as soon as I am home I will want to see something new again.  But for now I will settle for the memories small momentos bring, as I wait to collect more.

This is my 16 year old self and two other girls inside the Aillwee Cave. I still have that hat. I don't know why the girl on the right is climbing on me. I look terribly thrilled. I'm 90% sure I wanted to punch every other kid I was with at this point. I still have chipmunk cheeks.

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