One of the most important skills in life is to listen. But with so many bloggers writing/chatting away, who is left to fulfill the listener’s role? I do not have the answer to that, and so I raise the question and blithely ignore it. However, if there are any listener’s still out there, take heed of this touching prose from Anonymous (a Victorian writer, not the cyber-warfare rebels).
A Lock Of Hair
Few things in this weary world are so delightful as keepsakes. Nor do they ever to my heart at least, nor to my eye, lose their tender, their powerful charm ! How slight, how small, how tiny a memorial saves a beloved one from oblivion ! Worn on the finger, or close to the heart, especially if they be dead. No thought is so insupportable as entire, total, blank forgetfulness,–when the creature that once laughed and sung and wept with us, close to our side, in our arms, is as if her smiles, her voice, her tears, her kisses, had never been. She and they all swallowed up in the nothingness of the dust.
Of all keepsakes, memorials, relics, –most dearly, most devotedly, do I love a little lock of hair; and oh, when the head it beautified has long mouldered in the dust, how spiritual seems the undying glossiness of the sad memento ! All else gone to nothing, save and except that soft, smooth, burnished, and glorious fragment of the apparelling that once hung in clouds and sunshine over an angel’s brow.
Ay, a lock of hair is far better than any picture –it is part of the beloved object herself; it belongs to the tresses that often, long ago, may have been dishevelled, like a shower of sunbeams, over your beating breast. But now, solemn thoughts sadden the beauty once so bright, so refulgent, the longer you gaze on it; the more and more it seems to say, almost upbraidingly, “Weep’st thou no more for me?” and, indeed, a tear, true to the imperishable affections in which all nature seemed to rejoice, bears witness, that the object to which we yearned, is no more forgotten, now that she has been dead for so many long, weary days, months, years, than she was forgotten during an hour of absence, that came like a passing cloud between us and the sunshine of our living in her loving smiles.
This was taken from a publication I was lucky to find entitled ‘The Mourner’s Friend’ edited by J. B. Syme published in 1852 (London). Keep in mind that although it was published in this year it may have been written many years before, given that the author is ‘Anonymous’ lends weight to this possibility. It reveals the potency of the hair memento within this culture, and the practice of hair being worn in jewellery.