This should probably go in my other blog about my house. But you know, I found something interesting this morning. I was looking for some old pictures I plan to use in the gallery wall* I am creating for in the toilet. *aka Salon-style picture walls.
As I made my way to the basement (also known as the breezeway because in Queenslanders basements are the ground floors and designed to keep the house cool and prevent flooding – they are actually open spaces with wooden battens enclosing them) and dug around in the many boxes that contain remnants of my former life, I found some of my writing from way back in 1986-1987! Apart from chortling a lot about my tendency to be rather judgy about things, and my profligate use of adjectives (still struggling with that one) and a wee bit of purple prose, I wrote rather well. I used to get good marks, too. Gosh.
But it made me think about why I have all this old stuff, the paperwork and detritus of my childhood and early adulthood. What is the point of me keeping old essays from when I was in school? I haven’t kept any old clothes or other remnants of my life apart from this blasted paperwork. So why the essays and creative writing?
I think it must be because it was something I created. I made it, it came out of my brain. I even have a little poem from when I was eight, a pretty terrible piece about spring and nature. But I’ve kept that poem. A reminder of another me, perhaps? Or maybe a reflection on what I value?
Ok, if there’s going to be any accusations of hoarding levelled at me, all I can say is: yes. I hoard. I hoard old uni papers and books and music and musical instruments. Between my DH’s music teaching collection and my own, I think we have a small school library of old choral pieces. In our boxes there is literally nothing of any value to anyone but ourselves. When I die my kids are going to have a terrible time of it, sorting through the rubbish.
But the stuff I’ve kept is stuff to which I have a nostalgic connection. Ok, maybe not the music teaching stuff from when I taught in schools – that I’ve just kept because I think I might need it. But my writing from when I was a kid: it’s something I created. Like the songs I wrote in my 20s. I might do something with those songs. Write a Cabaret, or something.
So, yet another of the things I plan to do once my PhD out of the way, is go through those boxes, one at a time. And decide once and for all whether I need what’s in it. And whether it is still of value to me. And my writing? Hell yes, I’m keeping that.