Lemon-Scented Bivouac  

Fatherly and, eventually, teacherly blather. Also: graphic design, baseball, synthetic fabrics, jug band music and, lord help us, the occasional politics.

Friday, February 20, 2004  

The house is stacked, boxed (mostly) and ready (mostly) to be fed into the mouth of tomorrow's large moving truck. Lotsa old memories for this cat of feeding households into giant trucks (what'd he say? I think he's saying he moved a lot when he was young.) My parents had actually-old antique furniture that wasn't held together by hex bolts and therefore couldn't be taken apart in a trice or at all. We, with our Ikea life, can flatten down to the point of only wafers of air among our belongings.

Anyway, the thought of jamming yet another truck's piehole gives me a sigh and that's about all. Onward.

A few days ago I threw out everything, just about. All my paperwork, just about. At one point years ago I read or heard that designers are supposed to save ten of everything they've done, so downstairs I trundled boxes full of ten of every stinkin newspaper I ever designed. Now I don't design newspapers and don't mean to ever again, so away into the recycling bin they all went. Away went the old report cards, and the postcards. Into the bin with every school newspaper I was part of or mentioned in, away with old letters and company newsletters. So nice. The recycling bin declares a limit of 200 pounds and I think I may have crossed that limit. Just tons, it feels like, of dead memories -- or not quite dead, but only exactly as meaningful as they can be on their own power.

I think I used to suspect that my biographer or curator would want all these artifacts. I didn't think it that literally, but it felt like that -- that someone would watch and weep to find out that I threw out the diary in which I wrote four entries when I was 10. Then the biographer became me, much older, in the autumn of years paging through the find the names of coworkers or classmates I didn't much care about to begin with; or looking for insights into my juvenile psyche. Then I told my older self he was free not to care. In fact, I encouraged him to get out of the house and go talk to people, even strangers, rather than read about banalities just because they were old banalities that happened to me. I think my older self is grateful.

So goodbye to all that. Elliott is about to speak, or about to walk, or about to walk speaking and speak walking, the way he already has in my dreams. We're about to occupy Vashon Island and I'm about to start student teaching. Dana got bit on the finger by a cat and we need a screen and some wood for our new stove and spring is coming. Up and down the scale, from large to trivial, there are things to do, perhaps even to do well.

So goodbye to the past. Also goodbye to this blog for a while -- probably summer, at least. I can't hear back from you anymore (comments dead) this way, so call me when you can. The new number is (206) 567-5817 so call us. Sleep in our spare room or camp in our backyard. Do well yourself.

  posted by Andy @ 10:21 PM §

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