Memory Box

Memory Box

She kept it in a box.

When she died, the box lay exposed. It was as if her room that was all but spilling over with art, and writing, and trinkets all faded to blurs in the midst of that old wooden box. It lay hidden beneath high-end makeup that was rarely used and barely touched.

It was an antique box-- with very aesthetic gold markings that looped over the top and all one could think was why a box so beautiful, so obviously precious could lie beneath such vain and inconsequential rubble.

The top of it was so heavily coated in dust that once the pallets of makeup were removed, it looked as bare and off-kilter as a wall does once an old painting has been removed.

The rusting knob was a clear sign that it hadn't been opened in years but without the makeup holding it down, it was practically bursting. Edges of envelopes peeked through the corners and old flower petals fell in a shower of crispness to the table like snow flurries over a forest floor.

She was a woman filled with ambition, with love, and secrecy that flourished in a haze and exuded from her every breath. But you would never be able to tell even an ounce about this through the belongings that she kept. "You're just like your grandma," her mother used to say. "Hoarding things and finding for them a proper place." The place happened to be in her memory box.

All her secrets. All her loves. All her joys. All her pain.

She kept them in a box.

Not a single picture of herself or of her lovers, or friends could be found cropped into a frame, no albums lay stacked beneath her bed.

She was a private women.

She kept them in a box.

Among the scattered love letters and notes, bottle caps and corsages, old photographs and pressed flowers, lay a cracked diary and a key to a heart and home. The things that mattered most to her, she kept them hidden like shattered pieces to a broken heart. The contents and words no longer mattered as did what they symbolized.

At the very bottom of the box are scraps of paper with quotes and poems written by various musicians and writers. She lived by them.

They read:

A quote by George Sand from Impromptu

"I am not full of virtues and noble qualities. I love. That is all. But I love strongly, exclusively and steadfastly." 

I do not love you... by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, 
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. 
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, 
in secret, between the shadow and the soul. 

I love you as the plant that never blooms 
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; 
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, 
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body. 

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. 
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; 
so I love you because I know no other way than this: 
where I does not exist, nor you, 
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, 
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. 

A love letter from Beethoven

Though still in bed,
my thoughts go out to you,
 my Immortal Beloved,
 now and then joyfully, then sadly,
 waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us -
 
I can live only wholly with you or not at all - Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you
 until I can fly to your arms and say
 that I am really at home with you,
 and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits -
 
 Yes, unhappily it must be so -
 You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you.
 No one else can ever possess my heart -
 never - never -
 Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves.
 
 And yet my life in V is now a wretched life - Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men -
 At my age I need a steady, quiet life -
 can that be so in our connection?
 
 My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day
 - therefore I must close at once
 so that you may receive the letter at once
 
 - Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence
 can we achieve our purpose to live together
 - Be calm - love me - today - yesterday -
 what tearful longings for you -
 you - you - my life - my all - farewell.
 
 Oh continue to love me -
 never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
 
 ever thine
 ever mine
 ever ours
 
She kept herself in a box
 
 
 

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