Sunday, June 17, 2007

Personal Papers

I've been upstairs the last couple of hours, going through "personal papers." When I used to hear people mention "personal papers," I wondered what in the heck that was. It sounded very high-falutin' to me - like their lives were so important that they had to keep notes on them.

Well, now I know what "personal papers" are. I have some. I have lots, actually. Mine aren't too fancy - they're letters, cards, receipts, programs from events, journals, writings, graphic design pieces I've done, newspaper articles I wrote or am in, newsletters, etc. etc. etc. The whole category of "personal papers" seems to be vast.

If you've read here for any amount of time, you know I'm very fond of these sorts of things and put them in bits and pieces books, catalog them in notebooks, and try to generally not be swallowed up by them.

But I just came downstairs to do something I don't think I've ever done before - I shredded some of those personal papers. I have never had the desire to get rid of anything like this before, but today was an exception. I ran across some material that is really not an important part of my history and was not flattering to anyone involved - including me - so I put it through the shredder.

I didn't know I was the sort of person who would destroy such things, but apparently I am. It's in a recycling bag, ready to go to wherever such things go.

Some people burn old journals, particularly those from difficult times in their lives, as a way of breaking with the past. I have never done that, and can't imagine I ever will. The things I destroyed today weren't anything like that - not insightful or interesting or a chronicle of an important time in my life. And, now they're gone, and everyone involved should be thankful.