Jar of Hearts



There is such a thing as Moon memory.

You know, when you “just” know something. It’s also when you smell something and are immediately taken back to that time- not just the events of that time, but the emotions that come with the memory.

Music does it for me. In the days before I was married I recall a rather drunken evening playing vinyl (for the kiddies out there, in the days before ipods we used to place vinyl records on a turntable and intricately hover the needle over the song that we wanted to play) with a male friend of mine. When Moving Pictures Busting Loose came on he was silent.

And every guys a clumsy poet, and every girls a beauty queen. And they’re fogging up the windows of their friends parked cars on the way to their land of dreams…

The song reminded him of the girl who was the big love of his life- the one that got away. Yep, guys have their own equivalent of a Mr Big.

Another friend had a milk crate full of cheesey 80’s love songs- singles (yep vinyl)- that he would play one by one for my flatmate (his girlfriend). Whenever I hear Michael Bolton I am taken back to those evenings in that townhouse with the cheap futons and the tumblers of cheap cask wine.

I will never hear Eternal Flame, It Had to be You or I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You (not Elvis’ version) without thinking of my husband. New York New York takes me to a pub in Lucerne, Switzerland, a lot of beer and some very bad high kicking. Augie March’s One Crowded Hour has me at 3am the week before Xmas at the Casino in Melbourne. Don’t ask. Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer finds me thinking of my BFF- even though she is on the other side of the country.

Back in the day I would agonise over the selection of a mixed tape- making sure each song said something, and making sure the play order was just right. These days itunes playlists make it all just a little too easy.

Photos are the same. When we look at shots we have taken, we don’t just look at the picture, we are taken to how we felt when that photo was taken. How we felt about where we were, the people we were with, what we were doing. Were we laughing? What at?

Yesterdays #photoaday topic was “the best photo you have ever taken”. I could never decide, but the photos I put up all had emotions attached to them. (If you want to see them, they are at and anyways…). As an amateur photographer, that is my primary aim- to capture how I felt at the moment, not a technically perfect scene.

Even if your Mum was not a great cook, food will always bring up memories. That night in Vienna with a bottle of beer and a plate of Austrian sausage and sourdough, elderflower wine beside a river somewhere in Hereford, a perfect Hainanese chicken in Singapore. I can’t look at trout without remembering how Poppa used to tell me that the one we were having for Sunday lunch had been caught in the Tumbarumba River- he hit it over the head with a piece of 4b2 when it came up for air…

This stuff is all Moon memory. As the Moon rules Cancer, it is this sign that is the receptacle for these memories. Sure Cancer is about nutrition- one of the reasons that Cancer is always associated with food is because of the concept of nourishment.

More than that, it is nourishment of the soul, a jar, acontainer within which memories can be taken out and flipped through- much like a photo album or slide show. Memories stimulated by a smell, a taste, music, birdsong… you get the idea. So, who else misses the mixed tape?



  1. I miss the mix tape, obviously – hence my many MishMash CD’s. However the thing that sang to me most in the above, and hit me hardest, was your reference to how a scent can trigger a memory….thank you. x

  2. I remember the mix tape well…I lived it…had tons of them…and I remember getting a two cassette slotted tape deck so I could record from tape to empty tape as well as from vinyl. I was there and still am in many ways. And yet I love digital as well and now my 15 yr old son is my mix captain making the playlists for me. I have a Cancer Moon with my Aquarious Sun…am I extra sensitive to these things? It seems so…

    1. Oh I did the same thing. Would spend hours taping from tape of vinyl or sitting by the radio waiting for *the* song to come on.

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