Archive for June, 2014

Eyes Which Don’t See Each Other, Forget Each Other

“Eyes which don’t see each other, forget each other”, said the Bulgarians long ago, long before technological development and photos. And they were quite right for their time. Going away to work sometimes for the summer or for a year or two, young men going to war leaving newly formed families behind with the promise to return as soon as possible – all trying to keep their loved ones in their hearts.

However, it is one thing to promise and another to remember. It is wonderful if you have the right intentions and the ability to keep someone in your heart even if they are far away from you. Most people, however, need certain reminders. In olden times, this help came in the form of tokens, favours and precious little personal belongings that everyone carried away from home – something to keep to their heart and look at when they thought they were alone in the world. Later, with the development of photography, walls in lodgings, barracks, camps and trenches were decorated with small black-and-white photos, shortening great distances and helping people reach out and remember.

One token from popular culture has made a long-lasting impact to my idea of remembering. In the book “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, Ali and his son Amir flee Afghanistan for America with the intention to avoid the war. Before crossing the border, Ali “fished the snuffbox from his pocket. He emptied the box and picked up a handful of dirt from the middle of the unpaved road. He kissed the dirt. Poured it into the box. Stowed the box in his breast pocket, next to his heart.” Whether Ali would have forgotten the Afghan land without taking a bit of it with himself, I doubt. However, having it there, for luck, for proof that it all existed once and he was happy there – that would probably be helpful in times of trouble and when he was missing home.

Maybe those who say “out of sight, out of mind” are right. Maybe it is hard to keep your promise and remember after a couple of years and a few thousand kilometres? Or maybe it is easy to remember, but hard to keep the old feelings? Luckily, we don’t have to search too hard for the answers. We all have the means to keep in contact, even if we are as far away as we could be. We keep contact with our friends and relatives studying and working abroad, with those who have undertaken a challenging adventure – climbing Kilimanjaro or running with the African lions; we even receive sound and picture from the moon and those living in the International Space Station. Today, the world is small and if we want to remember, everything is in our favour.

So if you are afraid that “eyes which don’t see each other, forget each other”, don’t take the risk. A favourite picture of your loved ones would help you keep everyone in sight and won’t be a burden. And make sure you leave something behind – the eyes that need to remember are two sets, after all. Just choose the form of the memories you want to leave behind or take with you and contact us – at Etched in Memories so we can ensure you never forget!

Far Away From Home

Day after day, the world we live in changes irrevocably. Boundaries are drawn or erased, new highways and air routes come into existence and take children away from parents, separate siblings and put thousands of miles between best friends. By the minute we are provided with new opportunities for work, education, better life – some of them as far as the end of the world, and all of them requiring a certain sacrifice. Years ago, most of them would cost more than we would care to pay, but today we have the means to keep our friends and relatives close no matter where we live.

Visual memories are important – everyone would say that. However, you don’t truly understand how important they are until you are far away from home, in a foreign country, on a different continent. You go home from work, expecting to see the same empty and lonely room. You unlock the door and the faces of your family are there, before you, smiling from the gold-plated picture frame on your wall. Minutes ago, you didn’t even remember that the photo existed; now you are grateful that you decided to take it with you when you didn’t even realise you will miss everyone so much.

A year ago, if somebody told you that you would spend hours on Skype, talking to your family and friends, you would have laughed. Now there’s hardly a day when you don’t send them a message, asking if everyone is alright and answering their concerned questions in turn. And while the smaller members of your family practically grow in front of your eyes thanks to programmes like Skype, you can’t help but spend some of your time on Facebook, checking on your friends, on the latest news from your hometown, staying in touch and being informed.

It really is great that now every one of us can have a profile in a social network, an account in Skype, an e-mail client. Sometimes we can even forget that we are far away from home – as if our parents have gone on a holiday, our siblings are still in their school’s boarding house and everybody is together. Practically, we are together – a small family keeping its distant relationship with the help of the Internet, part of the bigger world family, whose parents are the globalisation and the striving for better life.

Sometimes, the effort to maintain a connection is everything that relates us to our past. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, Skype and Google+, being away does not feel too bad. Because of our visual memories – pictures and videos, digital and real, every place in the world feels like home. If you are far away, you know that feeling when you see the familiar faces smiling from your desktop. If you are planning to go away, save a corner of your suitcase for everyone’s pictures – you will never regret taking them with you.