Aug 28


One of the motivations for doing this blog is to turn readers on to the importance of elevating their relationships with the Earth and the Places she contains.  Many of us travel to experience such places and hopefully receive some kind of gift from them to bring home to our communities. Often we purchase “tourist trinkets or keep sakes” to help remember the visits we have made. 


We, as a species, have always been doing this.  It may even be hard wired.  At the very least we seem to be attempting to keep alive or at least extend the connection we felt to the places we experienced.


Why do we do this?


Too often the result of our efforts is to build a collection of “knick knacks” that become functional dust collectors.  This is not to demean the enterprise nor the value of what was brought home.  In fact, such objects get sprinkled all over the house or apartment like some mad planter of seeds.  They seem to crop up everywhere. 


I find old ticket stubs to trains and buses now serving as bookmarkers.  There on my bulletin board are posted picture postcards of different places.  There among other odds and ends in a kitchen drawer exist some custom jewelry that broke but couldn’t be let go of.  Even among my clothes there are apparel I have outgrown or that have become over worn.  Sitting on the shelves of bookcases blocking access to the books are rocks, pebbles, shells, ribbons and so on.


I’m sure I am not the only one.  We all could make a list of things that seem trivial but once held meaning for us about where we have been and what we did. 


Perhaps we are attempting to not only recall where we have been but also what we are still dreaming about.  Bringing home these artifacts of our journey is a way to “seed” something in ourselves.  They keep a question alive about who we are and what we may have woken up to.  But like any thing that we plant, these questions need nourishment.  They need regular watering and access to light. 


It may be worth our while to review periodically what these acquisitions remind us of about the places we have visited.  Just tagging them as to where they came from is not enough.  Spending a bit more effort to delve into the sentiment behind these objects may rekindle a deeper sense of what we were once feeling.  Collectively such objects may paint a grander picture of what we have been pursuing in this life.


At the very least, by reviewing my assortment of memorabilia, it reveals to me how much of the world has now become part of my identity.  That is, there are parts of me all over the planet and there are parts of the planet all over my home.  I am no longer sure where the separation is between Hearth and World.


Does this mean that I am at home in the world wherever I am?


I don’t think this is true in my experience.  Instead, I think it points to a desire to have a more profound relation between my self and this world.


At the very least I am allowing something to gnaw at my consciousness, something to remind me to return my attention to something I felt had significance.  All these “knick knacks” become place markers to coax me back to something bigger in my self.


Perhaps my collecting is part of an urging in me to live bigger.  To own my identity as the Hero who brings back from his journey some kind of gift or boon to assist his community of origin.  I suspect that this “boon” is the elevation of an awareness that reminds me I am more than an isolated ego. We all are intimately intertwined and a part of each other. There really is no separation between us and the world.


  1. Iris Stanfield

    This one really hit home with me, Jeff. I’ve never been able to travel the world, but I have brought something home with me from every place I’ve traveled. It is almost like having a journal of my trip, because I look at those objects and the actual feeling of the time and place come back to my rather poor memory. I enjoy a little bit of that time and place all over again.

    One of my favorite dust catchers is a small wooden communion vessel that by neighbor brought me from his trip to Israel. it was a trip I would have loved to make myself at that time though I no longer desire to travel there. For more than 30 years I’ve had that little vessel. i finally packed it away with some other similar keepsakes when i moved to my latest apartment. However, I travel to Israel in my thoughts when I see a candy dish he also gave me for a birthday present one year as it takes my memory back to the wooden vessel that is no longer in my line of sight. I still recover the feeling of listening to his story of his travel to that far away place where Jesus’ feet had actually touched the ground. Awesome!
    Thanks for this blog.
    Iris Stanfield

  2. Patricia M. Roberts

    Objects does not identify a person. Therefore, “nourishment” is not required.
    I would be pleased to discussed this further with you.

    1. jeffkelton

      Thanks Pat for your comment. I agree that objects do not identify a person. However, they can conjure up sentiments and experiences that often are not fully integrated. In this regard, there is a suggestion that more reflection about what such objects are associated with be considered. It’s like having a gift that you have received but never opened. There is more in there than meets the eye. The “object” is just the signifier of something deeper waiting to be tasted and explored.

Comments have been disabled.