Oddments

In search of story

The cull of the piled

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I’ve been in culling mode for some time now, but mostly first-stage, which for me is conceptual. Second stage is actual. Well, yes, dear reader, that is a way of saying “procrastination,” but I really do have to think about it first. And, as a writer, I have to think about thinking about it.

Why is it so difficult to part with this stuff? I hate the accumulation. I hate piles and stacks. So why do I stand lost in thought about what some thingamabob MIGHT be used for some day? Why, when I haven’t used it in years, does my head invent possibilities for using it EVER? And what if I do need it and don’t have it? Will the world end?

Not only is there the inherited china and silver and photos, but there is an asexually reproducing miscellany from my own life, featuring my collection of pieces. Pieces! They go with something somewhere somehow, so I must keep them until they can be glued back! Never mind the odds against that.

How about the two suits in the back of my closet? Remnants of a professional wardrobe, they are useless. But also evidence of how I used to look. Must I let go of that?

There’s the parody on “The Twelve Days of Christmas” by my 7th-graders in 1968. The autograph book signed by my sixth-graders in 1967. And don’t forget the dumb jokes my dad sent me in college, my kindergarten handprint, and my one baby moccasin, initially preserved by my mother. Old damask table linen, anyone?

The fact is that things have persons attached. Times, places. I guess I answer my own question. That’s why culling is so hard.

Laziness has nothing to do with it.

Seriously: one baby moccasin

Seriously: one baby moccasin

2 thoughts on “The cull of the piled

  1. Those moccasins are really distinctive. And all those other memories from your personal history may hold an important place for posterity. Perhaps if they’re carefully labelled and packed. They definitely shouldn’t be “culled.”

  2. Thanks for that. I go back and forth about whether posterity will give a hoot. But then I did (give a hoot, that is), so maybe they will. You are right, of course, about the labels. I should really cull and label at the same time. It will be done!

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