Over the past few months, I’ve been sifting through and purging old photos, memorabilia, books, games, and anything I saved in a shoebox, wine box, or folder.
I had a couple of binders of newspaper clippings alone. Stories, opinions pieces, or articles I must have felt I couldn’t live without. I kept letters and cards that mattered to me at the time, which meant almost every one I ever received. A few of these letters came from people I now don’t remember. There are several letters from a guy who lived in Colorado. I have no memory of this person. But we must have exchanged a half-dozen letters. And since the letters were handwritten and mailed, I don’t have any of my replies, which is so different than seeing entire conversations in an email thread. The smell of the old letters, and the tactile experience of sliding them out of their envelopes, then unfolding and holding the pages of ink felt like a relic from a bygone era. And I loved every second of it. This is something my son will most likely never experience. I doubt he or anyone his age is stashing away emails in a wooden Mouton-Cadet wine box.
This morning, I began sifting through my computer files. Tucked away in a folder within a folder of a main folder called “Writing,” I found a bunch of poetry. In my teens and twenties, I used to free write and free associate—with a pen and notebook—ideas for poems, stories, characters, or just random lines I might want to include in a play or story one day. At some point, I must have transcribed these ideas and “poems”—quotes because I’m not sure they can actually quality as such—into Word documents.