26 April 2011

It has been a while and I've been taking time to finish up some PTO work and to shave seconds off my final presentation for LEND. First year trainees are given 10 minutes to present a year of individual work. This seems impossible to me. Of course, how should they know that I cut my teeth on that sort of individual work at SLC (Sarah Lawrence College) and I don't think anyone gave us a time or page limit. But as I've shaved and parsed and decided how to put information on a powerpoint and talk about something else (and I have no idea whether this really works but I like when I've seen it done), I do realize that I've learned something this year. Not a lot, not everything that I want to. As I rehearse the presentation, timing myself all the time, I am becoming quite fond, quite proud of what I've done. Again, not perfect, not even startling, but not bad. A start.

Today, we managed to gather a special PTO board of directors meeting to ratify the new bylaws. Again, and again, not perfect, not a perfect job, but one that is now done. May 10, the last PTO meeting of the year. I hand over the guiding task -- president, if you will -- to a new soul. And she will be terrific. Really terrific.

And after the presentation (and some paper work) and handing over PTO power, I will be free. I am longing for it, but I am terrified at the same time.

I had time today, so I brought up a box to sort. Old receipts, bills, thousands of rejections from literary magazines, sweet letters from New Yorker editors (even though David never got a story there). Sometimes I think that I must either save everything or nothing, but that is only in rash moments. David should have thrown so much of this stuff away years ago! It is such a burden going through it, so much sadness for me. I can't do the same thing to Cheshire and Julia. I have been trying to come up with an organizing principle for the next round of sorting, and I had an idea today. I will put together a box, maybe two of David's writings (and hopefully one copy of each one), and then do a chrono file with an expanding file for every year. At least it is a place to start.

This saving of paper does feel rather mushy right now. I don't know the reason for it. Going through box after box, it is so clear that we have not been through these papers since they were put in their boxes. Yet I cannot part with it. Not all of it. Maybe in 40 years or so, Cheshire will just chuck the whole lot in a dumpster.

It is all about moderation, but is moderation 5 boxes or 20? Does it matter that we have written all our lives? I feel the weight of one who inherits a lifetime's worth of writings, not like on of the participants. I want to lighten my load and sometimes it is only so as not to have a cluttered basement.

No comments: