I created this altered image from an image I found on Pixabay.com by deysanz. I added special effects and text (my own words) and watermarked the image with the url of this site using the free version of graphic editing software at picmonkey.com.
For too many decades I saved things from long ago, we do it not because the object brought me pleasure but out of a sense of obligation to ancestors that cared enough to preserve the item.
Largely because I am an info nerd and love to study how meaning is generated, it finally dawned on me that I can enjoy the thought of the item when the item is not present.
A thing that is quite similar to the actual thing that creates pleasurable thought can stand in for that thing. I may no longer have the chair in which my mother, grandmother, and even her mother, sat in with their books and learned to read, but I can find one similar to it because it was from a Sears catalog in the 1890s and not a particularly rare item.
The thoughts of my own readings in that chair, and the idea of connection to reading across generations and to matrilineal ancestors I never met, are what make me smile.
The map may not be the territory, but it can remind us of the territory, and that does not even begin to look at how a map is another level of territory in and of itself.
We can tell stories that bring long gone things and times to life for others in a vivid fashion. Sometimes the idea of a thing is more important than the actual item.