Why bother?Wednesday, February 26, 2020
|Deidre Thomas, 12:55 Sunday April 6 1997|
“Why bother “thinning” your archive, it’s all going to end up in the bin.”
“No hay mal que por bien no venga.”
“Every cloud has a silver lining.”
A Newyorican friend’s comment about not bothering to thin out my archives bothered me to no end. It was his response to this blog.
It was four years ago when Rosemary sold our big Kerrisdale home and moved to our present duplex in Kitsilano. Before we moved I attempted to give some of my 5000 books away. It was so stressful that I ended up going in our Malibu late at night to nearby construction bins and throwing books or obsolete photographic equipment like Polaroid instant slide processors.
I distinctly remember looking at a copy of Dostoyevsky’s stories and saying out loud to myself, “Goodbye sir it has been fun.”
The move was heart wrenching. Rosemary’s knee failed and she had to have a replacement. My eldest daughter Ale, who helped us, has had a bad back since. I am on a waiting list to replace my right knee.
Legacy is a word I try not to think about. What to do with almost 10 year’s worth of CBC variety show, radio and TV announcers photographs?
Do I want Rosemary to install a park bench somewhere in Vancouver with a plaque that reads, “In memory of my dear husband.”?
Nobody except me knows how large my archives are. Few would know that I wrote many articles and book reviews for the Vancouver Sun, Province and the Globe and Mail.
At the very least finding them and filing them gives me the opportunity to reflect on my past life which will perhaps give me an indication, reason, and purpose on how to proceed with the little time that is left.
As my Newyorican friend suggests to not bother, at the very least I will make those who throw my stuff into bins have fewer trips as it will all be compacted.
But in my anger overnight at the damning comment I realized that finding the Globe and Mail tear sheet on the reading-across-Canada project gives me the delight of going to the Burrard Reserve in North Vancouver in the next few days with the oval-shaped snap of then 8-year-old Deidre Thomas who now would be 31 with the hope that someone may find her.
Had I thrown all those tear sheets into the bin without examining them first that pleasure would not happen.
My initial anger at my friend's remarks enabled me to think all this through. Thank you.