Today, around 11 a.m., I was driving along 5600 West, from West Valley City through Kearns to West Jordan. During one part of my life, I drove along that road a lot--for soccer games, especially, and for a few blocks, it was also the westernmost leg of my daily walk. One year, there was a huge migration of tiny orange butterflies, and we saw them, in flight and grounded, all along this road
I have a document called "Daily Writing" that I have been keeping--not daily--for a few years now. So when I turn my attention back to writing, I usually start there. Sometimes I look through it. Does it create momentum or drag, to look back at what I've composed there? What is this activity, anyway--recovering pieces of memory from the shred of a voice, a little note, an old poem or part of a poem?
In my archives--it is an unsystematic archives, it is unstable, it has no specific focus, it is copious and diffuse, it is unsearchable by any method but the delve--there are old journal articles, college papers, drafts of poems by myself and others, letters, drawings by my children, immunization records (although I cannot be asked at this point to find them at any point when they might be of use), certificates, photographs. Sometimes I think it is time to get rid of all, or most of it. That prospect overwhelms me. Periodically, I will find myself in a ruthless mood, and will just toss things with very little examination of the specific things I'm getting rid of.
Would a complete purge constitute a clean slate? Sometimes I think so, but mostly I do not. The deep structure of the archive, as it turns out, is in my brain, where there are and will be--have never been-- any more clean slates.
New music: Whatever they were playing on KRCL midmorning; Foster the People
Long walk: one
Writing: added notes to "Daily Writing"; this blog post
Enjoying my life: two grandsons came over for pancakes, watercoloring, block-building, and Spiderman. A quiet moment with the historian when he came home from work.