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Desire to Purge - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Desire to Purge
I've seen it happen. I fear it may happen to me. But not yet, except in the most minimal way.

The desire to purge overwhelms both collectors and those who simply collect.

I remember when, several years after we moved to Maryland, my mother just started throwing things away. It scared me. It still scares me.

But I think I understand why the impulse arises. This is what Bob Mould, pop-punk legend and present-day electronic music advocate, has to say today:
It's almost time for spring cleaning - I've got a good head start on it already. The detritus that I surround myself with, it needs to be jettisoned. Ticket stubs, contracts, airline boarding passes, CD's never opened, box after box of nonsense - where are I am going to take this stuff to? Where is the final resting place for these receipts? Another storage space in another storage place I lived for a little bit of time, hoping to find some peace of mind? Running toward something better, or walking away from something less?

I used to think that the sum of all these pieces would be some sort of roadmap, like a scrapbook, telling others where I'd been - some fabulous journey, a rich and traveled life, full of adventure and excitement. Now I worry that the hard drive on my laptop might be ready to go, and that concerns me so much more than the thought of losing all those documents, those reminders. It's about the moment I'm in right now, and so much less about the moments behind me. I've never been big on looking back, though I seem to surround myself with physical reminders (packed in boxes).

I'm feeling the weight of the past, and I'm beginning to throw it out.

I feel the weight of the past too, but I still believe it's my burden.

Maybe I'm afraid that, once I start throwing things away, I won't stop until I've thrown everything away.

Tags: , , ,
Mode: looking ahead
Muse: Kneeling Bus - Pavement - Gold Soundz (Single)

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Comments
From: batdina Date: February 1st, 2004 03:22 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
the one and only time I've ever fallen prey to the urge to purge was when lizyjn finally moved to the states in 2000: I sorted all of my books as we were unpacking them into our new place and I sold off a few thousand of them. This included everything from grad school, but most particularly all the ones I had for writing the now completed, but never signed dissertation.

I too was afraid that it would lead to my tossing away everything, but to my surprise, it hasn't yet come to pass.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 1st, 2004 04:33 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Books

The one thing my mother never got rid of -- or could say no to purchasing -- was books. (The grammar of that sentence scares me too). Like me, she collected all sorts of things she might one day read, but probably never will.

So the idea of getting rid of grad school books is not one that would probably cross my mind, even if I were out of the profession -- as I may one day be, obviously.

It doesn't disturb me as much as the prospect of tossing out odds and ends, though, because books are easier to get back.

My fear is that I'll throw away something literally irreplaceable in a fit of pique.

No sign of that yet, thankfully.
masoo From: masoo Date: February 1st, 2004 04:53 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Coincidentally, I've spent the last few days purging myself of music cassettes.

I've got hundreds of them, and the vast majority simply don't get played anymore. A few are irreplacable, and serve a particular listening purpose, esp. mix tapes people have made me. The rest? Well, if I haven't listened to a tape in five years, it's likely I won't listen to it for another five years. Meanwhile, with many of the cassettes, I can listen to the entire album on Rhapsody if I get the urge. So I've started the purge by junking all cassettes I can get on Rhapsody.
kdotdammit From: kdotdammit Date: February 1st, 2004 05:01 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
hear that charlie? music cassettes. excellent source of purge satisfaction.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 1st, 2004 04:06 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Cassettes

Look, cassettes don't take up much room. And, no, I'm not getting rid of them just yet.

First, we still have a car that only has a cassette player and another car that has one along with its CD player.

Second, there are compilation CDs I'd like to reproduce as CDs.

Third, I'm not ready.
masoo From: masoo Date: February 1st, 2004 06:52 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thing is, I am obsessive-compulsive. As in, I have an Access database file with every album I own cataloged in it. With a field for "Date Last Played." Which means I know that if I decide to toss, say, my cassette of Monie Love, Down to Earth, I do so knowing I haven't listened to it in many, many years. I won't listen to it at home ... I won't listen to it in the car ... to be honest, I can't remember any longer why I even bought the damn thing, except for "Monie in the Middle."
masoo From: masoo Date: February 1st, 2004 06:58 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Double-post: I understand about cassettes and the car ... we only have cassette players in the car, so whenever we drive, we listen to cassettes. (Of course, half the time we listen to Old-Time Radio, another obsession of mine that is mostly irrelevant here.) And I've always made mix tapes for the car.

But Rhapsody makes a big difference here, because I can create a Rhapsody playlist, plug the laptop into the stereo, and record mix tapes from the playlist. The playlists are good, because I don't have to only play what I own, but rather what's available on Rhapsody (and since most car tapes are with Robin in mind, that's most everything, because she prefers oldies and they have lots of oldies on Rhapsody).

So I still use cassettes, but mostly for temporary mix tapes, not for "archival" material.

Meanwhile, here's the 45-minute side I just recorded for today's car trip with Robin:

"Doctor My Eyes" - Jackson Browne
"Dancing In The Street" - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
"Once I Was" - Tim Buckley
"Into The Mystic" - Van Morrison
"You Can't Hurry Love" - The Supremes
"The Weight" - The Band
"Let It Grow" - Eric Clapton
"White Summer" - The Yardbirds
"Please Mr. Postman" - The Marvelettes
"Love Is All Around" - The Troggs
"Good Lovin'" - The Rascals
"Every Beat Of My Heart" - Gladys Knight & The Pips
"The Letter" - The Box Tops
"Soul And Inspiration" - The Righteous Brothers
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