the joys of having teenage daughter at camp: the nice dinners in with husband; the nice dinners out with husband; the quiet cup of coffee first thing in the day – uncluttered and without the barely remembered backpacks and scattered homework. not so joyous: the pressure to clean up our massively-cluttered basement. sadly, with 2 large file cabinets containing a rain-forest’s worth of paper all from my past. a varied past.
today i finally decided it was time to tackle at least one of the cabinets because it was so dented and mangled that we were intending to have it hauled away together with an enormous equally-battered dresser. hence, the clean-out. part of it was easy. i basically reorganized a few drawers and shoved multiple alphabetically-labeled music-filled folders into the good cabinet. but then, oh then, there it was. i should say, there they were. folder after folder – an ode to the pre-computer, pre-laser-printer era – of all the letters i wrote. i wrote great crazy funny letters. enticing producers to give me an audition or a gig. i seemed to have written to anyone and everyone. and saved a copy of each!!!! they are irreverent and cutting and, very oddly, i swear i remember writing each and every one of them. an odd statement from a woman who can’t remember the name of the coworker sitting 2 seats away from her. i could see in these letters that i was so ready to take on the world, so brash, and dancing on the edge of my abilities with my talents.
in the end, i saved a lot of them. to throw them away was to erase such a big part of my past. and since i have always held that process is more important than product, this was the proof of that imaginative process. i was my own one-woman-band! i did throw out one wacky semi-dirty letter written by an ex who tells me that his wife is about to have a baby and has him on a tight tether at home (thankfully in switzerland) but that he misses me and wishes he could x, y, and z. i decided that when i’m gone, teenage daughter (hopefully my age-now daughter) doesn’t need that particular letter to read! he was a little feckless anyway.