During this strange era, I’m sure we all have the feeling that we are, for better or worse, living through history. The suspicion that future generations will be curious about what it was like to live during this time has left me contemplating journals, scrapbooks, and photo albums – the books where we save the bits, pieces, and words that matter to us.
The first time I learned about such relics, I was a very little girl at my grandma’s house. She adored Victorian culture and she had this gorgeous Victorian Era scrapbook with pieces of paper pasted in it.
It all looked so deliberate and so very beautiful to my little girl eyes. Bright flowers, butterflies, kids, and kittens lived inside that book. The first thing I did every time I walked into my grandma’s house, was to go to her coffee table and gently flip through its pages.
My grandmother told me once that, 100 years ago, if a little girl had to stay home from school sick, her mother would help her pass the time with a dish of flour paste and some pretty paper to paste in her scrapbook. I don’t know if this was the truth or a pretty story, but it definitely captured my imagination. I would think of that little girl with every turn of the page.
Since 2020 has been such a homebound year, I find myself, like that little girl, longing to work on a scrapbook. When I find myself anxious about the contents of the evening news, I want some sort of beautiful distraction – to surround myself with all of my favorite, beloved things.
Most of the things I love cannot actually be pasted in a book. A novel, a song. But, a website suits them well. And I think it is important to have some record of life during this strange and uncertain time we find ourselves in.
My grandma ended up gifting me that first, beloved book. I hope to make Faedra half as beautiful as the pages created by that homebound little girl 130 years ago.