Relics

October 29, 2010


Vic, one of my best friends has become fascinated by relics. In the middle ages there was a huge trade in relics. Players cards (baseball, hockey, etc.) would be the closest parallel in modern times. Of course there was a religious element to relics. But underneath I suspect was this peculiar human trait of collecting. We all do it. Photo albums are one example. (I found an album in a second hand book store one time. The pictures were all strangers to me of course. And looking at them seem somewhat voyeuristic.) I think this has something to do with memory. What else is  history but a collection of stories, relics from events long passed. But there is something else. It is a facade, a kind of wall we build against some great horror that we all fear. We are creatures who crave escape. Perhaps that is what culture amounts to. Back to my friend, Vic. He intends to leave (after his passing) a relic of his body to each of his friends. He’s already told me what he wants to leave me. I told him I already have one. And I’ve become somewhat attached to it.

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