As a pack rat, apparently a defining quality of many artists, I have to say that I love computers.
Computers provide us with a place to store all of our valuable personal crap; piles and piles of notes and endless (but extremely important?) photographs and memorable (or so we thought at the time; how many sunsets CAN you watch in the desert?) videos and favorite songs. And the storage space is so beautifully compact and so easily organized, even for an impulsively noisy and inconcise mind such as the whirlwind that clamors regularly in my own head. I can keep things, all things; I can find them and best of all I can get back to them and use them when needed.
Now even when I find myself in many different locations, traveling and telling stories, I am able to pull up an image and share it. Or put together a story around a memory that has been preserved in an image, even if I can’t get back to my boxes of crap at home.
It has been years since I have looked at so much of the stuff that I carry from one place to the other as I move around the world and through my adulthood. Much has been packed away in boxes which have been organized pretty much within the same system that I use to think about things in general; an artist’s chaos of mental organization.
People that I had forgotten that I knew and loved or hated --- people I wanted to forget, lost love letters that are better filed in the trash have followed me quietly for 30 some years. Today I have finally made my way through the last of those storage boxes; reviewing the illusions, hopes, dreams and angst of my teenage years, the loss of good friends, the memories of wonderful adventures and stacks of financial records which track both my stupid and my genius moves throughout that venue of my life.
And the clumps of photographs: did I ever really look that young? Who ARE those people whose high school pictures I collected so carefully? (Must have neglected to write down names, thinking it would be impossible to forget faces which have long lost meaning). All those letters from a best friend who “forgot” to invite me to her wedding, although we had made a pact to be one another’s brides’ maids, all through our high school years. (To be fair, I myself eloped when the time came to marry and so didn’t have any brides’ maids at all).
It feels good to have cleansed my files, my life, my ever more selective memories... to a certain degree. Admittedly, we still have way too many boxes filled with things that we probably don’t need stashed away in our home, but the boxes contain our insignificant little personal histories and so it is hard to part with them, just yet. And hopefully, we will be able to build a bigger house once the economy rebounds; a place with lots more storage space.
wordsmith at griffonage studios