Today I’m sending out an Art Care Package to my aunt, who lives several miles down the street from me. I used to visit her house all the time back when I was a child, but that has long stopped. Now over a year, I might visit two or three times compared to, I’d guess, 20 times a year back when I was 7 to 10. Since we haven’t been talking to each other for a while, she hasn’t gotten a chance to know how I’ve been growing and how my personality has changed over the years.
In the package I included things that I own and describe me. The five things are: a protective case for Sennheiser earbuds, a bag of rubber bands for my braces, earplug (unused), a Chinese New Year sleeve given to me by my girlfriend’s grandma, and a very heartfelt card that my girlfriend had written for me.
Not all these items are very sentimental to me, but it shows her things that I still hold on to and still describe me. Just by looking at it, she can connect with my experiences such being with my girlfriend, being Asian, and wearing braces.
The ACP is comparable and different from sending a Snapchat in several ways. In a Snapchat, you are not supposed to hold on to what you see. You see your friend, your relative, or whoever sends you the snap for several seconds. For the ACP the items are ephemera which stays with you physically. It makes you think of the person every time you see it, just like a Snapchat would. When you reminisce about great times what that person, you can see ephemera or Snapchat and think about your past with them for ages.
Ephemera is precious in the way that your memories are triggered just by looking and feeling them. They do not necessarily have to be a sentimental item of the person, however it still leaves the same effect. You feel connected to the person through the medium of the item in front of you. Your grandma was given this ticket and now you have it in your hands. You can think about the experience just by looking at it. With the ephemera I’m handing over to my grandma, she can get a better idea of who I actually am and connect with me through the medium for years to come.