A Suitcase For Memories

This post is sort of an ‘homage’ in a way to things past. Yesterday was a day to open things up and see what is inside.

I did go into our bedroom finally yesterday and began that difficult task. I started with the hardest of those things; the bags with his stuff that the hospital sent home. So I stood there in our bedroom and neatly folded the clothes he had been wearing and put them aside, then I went through the 2 bags with his blankets in them. I have decided that I’m going to keep some of his things with me in an old suitcase we bought this spring in Flesherton at an antique store. I also found some mementos of his and some of mine, all will go in there now.

I guess its my suitcase of memories – in will go his report card from 1975 – I love this part – “Tim has kept up with his reading, spelling and math groups this term. I am pleased with his work and his efforts in class. He has however created a lot of difficulties at recess for himself and the people who follow him.” I can just imagine :) some things never change. In will go the necklace he wore, the Valentine Card he gave me at Thameswood this year, and the clothes he wore when he passed.

That’s as far as I got. I just couldn’t see through the tears any more to continue. So I moved on to the closet. At the top is stuff we put up there almost 3 1/2 yrs ago now. First came down the boxes of his photos from Tim’s life with his ex; I put them aside for later. Then I found my box with my old Journals in them.  Well, well well :) The first journal I picked up I came across the following:

Suitcases – bottom was my Grandmothers – top black one bought this year at Antique Store.

“There’s a place in our hearts
were we keep the pain. 
When the one we love
has gone away.
But in our loss,
we must find our soul;
So we may see through,
to the person that was.” [Journal 1991]

The rest of the journal is a mix of notes from an RPG my ex-husband and I were playing at the time.  I don’t know where that poem came from, maybe I was thinking of Grandma. Life then was happy and the only loss in my life at that time had been Grandma when I was 17. So this was 7 years later; I was 24 at the time.

I found 8 journals in total. The oldest one is from 1985 when I was still living at home, but going to BealArt. H.B. Beal is a secondary school in London, Ontario that hosts one of the premier Art Schools in the country. Many well known London and area artists attended the BealArt annex. This description from the London Arts Hub gives a general summary:

Self portrait ~ BealArt 1985

“Bealart is a subsection of H. B. Beal Secondary School. Bealart has ten separate fully equipped studio facilities which are augmented by a computer lab, art library, and courses in art history and drawing. Developed by practicing artists, the program provides professional instruction with a hands-on approach”.
I remember a friend who went to BealArt telling me that “I may not become an Artist, but BealArt will change you. You will never see the world the same again.” And she was right. BealArt changed me in ways I’m still discovering today. It was a school that taught you about art for arts sake alone. It was a purist ideal in a way. We shunned the likes of Robert Bateman in favour of someone like Mark Rothko or Jasper Johns. Here is a snippet from the Journal:

August 24 1985
I am the black rose that is different & mysterious. I let the world know most of my secrets but some are kept hidden for protection. I don’t fit in with most because that’s the way I like it. I see in others what most fail to notice. Mainly I guess because they can’t be bothered. Yet I quest into unknowns, and I gravitate to the unpopular and the different. However, with all my perceptions and sacrifices why can I not be granted a perfect someone; at least perfect for me. The person to love me, and give strength, but with enough passiveness to enjoy and except the present. I often wonder if there is some special mission I am destined for but have yet to accomplish? Despite all the wondering and hoping, I can be content with what I have at hand.

The following are photos I found in my collection from when I was at BealArt.

Blackfriars Bridge – London Ontario 1986
Downtown London Ontario – 1986
Abandoned House outside Arva Ontario – 1986
Dominique in profile
Punker as Glamour Girl – 1985

See Also: Dear Diary … October 8th, 1986
— next journal —Oct.10.2001 – From the Beginning

19 thoughts on “A Suitcase For Memories

  1. Incredible find with the journals. Seems like everything you need is inside of you waiting to be found. Thank you for the tears in my eyes. Hugs. Kozo


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