Thursday, February 18, 1999    


Scrapbooking: A Labor of Love

By:Alycia A.

Scrapbooking. At first glance it seems like a cute little hobby of placing pictures, diecuts, stickers, and other miscellaneous items on a page. On the surface, I guess it is. However, for me, it has become something with a much deeper significance and importance in my life. Initially, I became interested in creating scrapbooks for the purpose of photo restoration and preservation. As I create my personal albums, I continue to realize how crucial this is, on the other hand, I have found that scrapbooking is so much more than that. It is about love. It is about loss. It is about children. It is about the elderly. It is about relationships. It is about happiness. It is about sadness. It is about life; the past, present, and future.

The past:

There is a Chinese proverb which states, "One generation opens the road upon which another generation travels". I have lived my life with minimal knowledge, and to be honest, interest, in my ancestors. It was only recently, after I began scrapbooking, that I considered really learning about them and their lives. In my family, there are few who have documented ancestral information, and it is disappearing rapidly. I made a commitment to gather as much information and photographs that were available and display them in scrapbook style. This undertaking has affected me more than I ever expected. I have learned much about those relatives who are deceased and those, like my grandparents, who are still living. It has opened new doors with my relationships with them and taught me about where and who I come from.

Another crucial point about the relevance of scrapbooking and the past is the ability for memories to live on. I have experienced a great loss in my life; my brother. Through my photographs, he is able to exist on a physical level and I am able to pass his love and kindred spirit on to my son who bears his name. I have a beautiful poem that reminds me of this; "Those we love remain with us, for love itself lives on, And cherished memories never fade because a loved one's gone....Those we love can never be more than a thought apart, For as long as there is memory they'll live on in the heart."

The present:

Being a "grown up" can sometimes be tedious and monotonous. We seem to forget what is important. This is where scrapbooking has had the most profound effect on my life. First, I find I pay closer attention to small details. I relish moments that may seem trivial. I want to capture those moments and hold them in my heart forever. Scrapbooking has allowed me to do this, especially with regard to my young son. The relationship with my son has benefited from this attitude and, additionally, he enjoys my pages as much as I do. They remind him of special moments in his life. That he is important in this world. That he is loved.

Odd as it may seem, scrapbooking also has therapeutic qualities for me. I find that I am able to let my "inner child" out to color, draw, cut, stamp...IMAGINE! When I am scrapbooking, I am very relaxed and focused...tune out any stressors I may have. I am able to express my feelings through my pages. I also feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when I look through my pages.

The future:

Lastly, although I create my scrapbooks for myself...they will one day be my legacy. I hope that when future generations look through them, they are able to see the essence of me. Of those I love and who love me.

In summary, scrapbooking means many things to me on various levels. It is more than a book with pictures. It is that which encompasses the gift of life.

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: The Little Red Tin Box, by Sharon from Brampton

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