Memories in the attic

Let us go forth, the tellers of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear. Everything exists, everything is true, and the earth is only a little dust under our feet.

William Butler Yeats

Wherever we go, there seems to be only one business at hand — that of finding workable compromises between the sublimity of our ideas and the absurdity of the fact of us.

— Annie Dillard 

June 18, 2006

Originally posted on my old blog, Random Acts of Love, which is no longer available due to technological changes.

I’ve been cleaning out old stuff — old papers, old clothes, and old files. Managed to network my old PowerMac to my now not-so-new iMac so I could transfer files from the hard drive and from old floppies to make sure I didn’t miss anything. And then, finally, I could clear my desk of that big ol’ thang!

One big deal — I realized that when I transferred files from my old Kaypro 4 (my very first computer, which I bought in 1984 and still have) to DOS and then to the Mac, the footnotes in the old files got stripped out.

Now, there are many things one can reconstruct without TOO much problem. But footnotes, no. Not after all this time. Fortunately, being the pack rat that I am, I have paper copies. Found them in one of the file cabinets in my attic. In drawers I’m not sure I’ve even opened in the six and a half years I’ve been living in this apartment. So while I may never get around to actually re-creating them (hey, I can scan them using an OCR so I don’t have to type them all!), it is helpful to know that I could do it if I wanted to.

It’s true — my attic is absolutely chock full of things I do not need and should have been thrown out a long time ago. But I am so glad I kept these papers, even though I thought that, with all my health issues, I would never return to them.

There are good reasons for not throwing things out. It has been a wonderful experience going through this stuff, reminding myself of where I have been and how far I have come. These are my “history books,” the stories that remind me of who I am and what I have accomplished, as well as the terrible, lonely, awful places I have been.

It’s important to hold onto the memory of those places even as we leave them behind. Because that memory keeps us grounded. We can’t possibly assume that we arrived at a wonderful new place somehow by fiat, and therefore expect other people around us — those who do cannot feel that same joy for themselves — to somehow just wake up to the blooming, buzzing, wonderful world that surrounds them.

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One thought on “Memories in the attic

  1. Pingback: It’s official: my new business website/blog « From Fibro To Fabulous

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