Wednesday, June 06, 2007

And There Was Dancing and Music

And movin to the groovin.

I've been purging my books, my life really: going through books and CDs and papers. Jesus I have so many papers. I come from a line of packrats, most notably my father; the man has kept every single item that had any history for him personally, including the first bill he paid after graduating from college. WEST POINT. And don't you forget it.

Papers...what are all these papers? Poems, my own and other peoples, files of things that have personal history for me -- IBP postcards, teaching lessons, shit I don't know what it is nor what it's good for. I got to get rid of my shit.

By the way, we're having a garage sale, an estate sale, really because it's going to be inside our estate, the estate we're leaving for another, smaller, more economical estate. Smaller. Did I say smaller? Small-er-er-er-er. Last week, in preparation for the move, I proclaimed to David that I was only going to take 100 books to the new house, excluding my poetry collection; the entirety of which I refuse to part from. Well, I did give away my 1974 Anthology of Modern Hungarian Poetry. By give away I mean set aside. It'll be for sale on a Friday and Saturday very soon. Probably that's the only one I should keep. Who knows, I'll bet the Hungarians are going to break out as the next Superpoets of the world.

But the dancing and the music, that's what I wanted to talk about. I used to listen to a lot of music, used to purchase these things called CDs. They were more expensive than tapes, but better for some reason...maybe because they never wear out. Right? Or do they? Mine are all worn out, tired and lonely and dusty and slapped all up together with other lonely, dusty CDs. I have music on my ipod now or in my computer or in my distant memory. Do I really need these CDs? No. I do not. So why can't I just wipe them off the shelves into the boxes for the garage sale, I mean estate sale? Because each CD holds at least one memory which is tied to either a song or a mood that dominated during the time I was listening to the CD; and memory is seductive, it requires your time. And I don't have the time to listen to all the music in the world, especially because now I live with three other people who not only compete for my time, but also compete with me for music listening space. Mostly, my children win. I listen to decent children's music (it's catchy!), but I used to listen to good adult music. "Adult music" sounds like it nasty but it's not nasty. I still listen to Bob Dylan; I let Clara listen to a Bob Dylan mix every night for 15 months as her bedtime music. I had to make sure she had his patterns measured into her brain. But after Bob Dylan, the fidelities start to muddy up, the waters get murky. Do I want this Moby? NO. But then I have to listen to it to try and figure out why the fuck I bought it in the first place. There was a song tied to a memory, I'm sure. What about these Joni Mitchells? YES, but she's one of those people that I have to wait for, it's harder to make time for her admist the Reggae Playground or Carol King's Really Rosie. And, really, how many more times am I going to have to listen to Joni Mitchell in my lifetime? I may have listened to her enough. And anyway, I already transferred her to my computer, so she's on my ipod. The ipod takes up a ridiculously less amount of space; therefore, I can get rid of the Joni CDs. But then there are those CDs that I haven't burned yet, like "Tom and Elis" by Antonio Carlos Joabim. Like Coltrane's "A Love Supreme". Like Wilco's double album. Like a bunch of other ones.

But I want to get rid of stuff; I'm interested in travelling light.


eflows said...

Ok. My when we cleaned out my grandparents' basement, we found the receipt for the two-cent copybook he used for notes in fourth grade. I'm serious.

cake said...

i can relate. i am a pack-rat. i come from a line of pack-rats, most notably, my grandma who survived the depression. in some ways, i am proud of it, but it also produces a lot of anxiety, especially now that i don't live alone. i hate for someone else to have to deal with all my baggage...but then, maybe that is what a serious relationship is all about?

anyway, here is what i did with my cds because i could not bear to get rid of them and didn't have the time to burn them all onto my computer. i took them all out of their boxes and put them into 3 cool binders i got from the container store. i extracted the play list from the cd case and put it in the pocket with the cd. if the cover art was worth saving, i
stuck that in the binder too. i separated out the music i was attached to but embarrassed for my friends to see, and made a separate folder called "swill." the rest i organized alphabetically, leaving room for growth here and there. the three binders take up so little room and are easy to flip through. i also have a portable binder, with some current favorites in it that i keep by the cd player.

sure, purging would be cleaner, but i am just too sentimental for that.