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The Bottomless Pit(s)

February 18, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I went through the file cabinets in the upstairs office.  Three bags of tossed or shredded paper!  It’s unbelievable what we keep in file cabinets, although it’s really easy to collect all this stuff.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  I’ve renewed the decluttering campaign, mainly because my oldest daughter said if I didn’t get to it, she was going to come visit and kick my butt into gear.

Two days ago, I spent an entire day sorting through photo albums and loose photographs.  Sure, it was a real trip down memory lane, but it was a fast trip.  I now have photos for each grown child which include them or their children.  There is another batch that represents my family, another that represents Nell and her family, and a third which represents the combined family.  Then there was the pile of photos with no people in them (flowers, scenery, etc. that don’t interest me as an artist).  That pile went directly into a trash bag.  Another pile was photos of people and events that are probably not best celebrated by keeping them around.  Yesterday, I shredded all of those, along with a huge batch of negatives.  Who keeps negatives anymore?  The shredding alone took several hours because the shredder kept overheating.

Yesterday afternoon, I opened another Pandora’s box:  the four drawer file cabinet in the corner of my studio.  I now have two trash bags filled with shredded paper, another with just trash paper, and a huge pile of paper next to them that needs to be bagged.  And there are two drawers that still need to be gone through.  I’m practicing tough love on myself through all this, contending that if I haven’t seen it or looked at it in six months to a year, it’s no longer of value to me.  Of course, in those cabinets, I also found two complete manuscripts for unpublished novels, and two unfinished novels.  Along with a lot of sketches.

Of course, all of this stuff is mine.  Nell only has one box of old work papers to go through.  She just looks at me and laughs.

The heavy sigh you hear is me trying to convince myself that my life will go on without a lot of this stuff.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2011 1:04 am

    Ralph, I know you and Nell are entering an exciting phase in you lives as well as a journey into the unknown that will forever define you. Congratulations and best wishes. And should you end up in the northern end of Georgia, do get in touch. Meanwhile, happy travels–as you make the transition and when you hit the road.

    • March 4, 2011 3:05 pm

      Thanks so much, Dianne. At the rate things are going, I think the transition is the hardest part. It’s a lot of work shedding all this stuff.

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