Mementoes of my memory tree

May your life always be filled with beautiful, exotic, deep, enriching, blossoming and blissful scents… and may you always know your own and wear it with pride. Gérard

This hand written note on the inside leaf of Patrick Süskind‘s Perfume is a memento which replays the time I had a fling with a young man, a sensitive soul, while I was in my long-term relationship. Whenever the page presents itself, the distant past flashes back. Not that I am a nostalgic by any means… I love memories. Am not attached to them yet they bring a serene joy in my life. Strange though it may sound, in the spring clean, year after year, my stash of troubled moments have been recycled into enchantment.

Living is the continuation of this journey… blogging, performance, instagramming, my art, cooking, and more recently my memory tree. When I was setting up my supper club Casa Ali, I got the idea having visited Monza over the christmas break. My friends mum has designed the interior of a restaurant, using branches of birch, hanging off the walls and ceilings. Beautiful and inspiring! Even more so than the food we ate there. On my return, I cajoled my flatmate, and in the darkness of the night, with a hacksaw in our hands, we went to the local country park. Having selected the right trees in the daylight, I had a pretty good idea of which branches would work for my space whilst the trees were being ‘pruned’ all the same. We carried the branches back and they are part of my house as if they always were meant to be. Its Sebastian‘s memento. I decided to populate the branches with various objects I have collected over the many years. They may be curiosities to the ordinary eye, though for me, they are triggers of beautiful journeys, stretched moments and wonderful people who have intersected with my orbit. The memory tree is evolving. As I continue to share my home, my stories and particularly food with friends and at times strangers… my mementoes are not just mine any more. Items are left by couch surfers, my friends, guests from Casa Ali gatherings. I offer the string and they choose twigs or branches of their liking.

As the branches get dry and brittle with the passing days, it’s a joy to see the relics blossoming. In a shared spiritedness, the tenacity of each of the souvenirs trigger images, laughter, smiles, hugs and love. Wonder what was I thinking when all those years ago I wrote the autobiographical performance called Journeys of Love and More Love. It wasn’t looking back with eyes awash with nostalgia… it is a celebration of now and of the life ahead.

Here is to More Love <3

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