Sometimes it feels as if things are beginning to curl in upon themselves, the way newsprint pages do, and it becomes difficult to tell where one line ends and another begins; whether things are overlapping or simply mirroring one another– inarticulate.
Or maybe it’s time that seems to curl in upon itself; things grow confusing. The scale or chronology of things feels muddled. A great purge seems necessary: clothing, writings, scraps of paper, random objects, coats, hats, books, an overstock of pens never used, envelopes whose glue has lost its tack, chipped mugs, cracked plates, twist ties, rubber bands, socks with holes, jars of miscellaneous hardware, phone jacks, cables, anything incompatible with current computer, anything hasn’t been seen in a year, nor missed in said time, half-dried sharpies, dull scissors, business cards of people you will never call, unworn jewelry, nail polish, all unused hair product, makeup, anything that’s begun to look like an antique but shouldn’t, anything doesn’t fit properly, shoes that can’t be walked in more than a few blocks (as they are never worn anyway), anything that’s waited too long to be repaired, glued, or sewn, catalogues, magazines, bars of soap, empty boxes, old notebooks, calendars, lingering cards or invitations for events unattended, hangers misshapen and useless, cassettes and cassette player cleaning fluid (as you no longer have a cassette player), anything on VHS, tubes of paint gone solid with time, bits of fabric saved for a forgotten purpose, a million take-out food sauce packets in the fridge drawer (WHY?!), anything you can’t remember why you have it, myriad useless widgets made of plastic, impulse buys.
And then there’s so much that is digital– a hexidecimal fog.
Digital: a medium which allows words, images, sounds, numbers, information, memory– to all arbitrarily exist (even to mesh) on a single flat plane; the only notion or hint of time having passed being the little dates next to the filenames. Even those are subject to change at a whim- a single keystroke, and history can be irrevocably altered. At length, there is no chronology, no hierarchy, no intuitive way to follow any threads. In digital memory there is no patina; there is no softening of the edges or shifting of vividness as in organic memory. Sometimes i want to destroy all signifiers of memory and leave only the version retained in my mind; for some clarification, if only through the fading or falling away of things that were long ago.
Thus the invariability of purging.
When too many things share a single plane, the result is chaos and/or insanity. (see also: LSD) The idea of half-empty drawers; bookshelves with space still available; flat surfaces- tables, desks, counters- without all the piles of random nonsense having no other place of belonging… One doesn’t necessarily need more space; one simply needs to edit. In this way, the Salvation Army becomes the cutting-room floor.
The hallway is filled with boxes, bags and milk crates, and they wait to be carted off. For some reason, it really does help to clear the mind.