I’ve been doing some sorting out – there’s a few boxes I’ve not unpacked since we moved here, 7 years ago, some of which I’ve carted around for many of the previous 12 moves since I left Canberra in 1988. Today I finished unpacking one of those boxes. A fair few papers went straight to recycling; some things went to the charity pile.
But there are other things that I can’t, yet, part with – even though I’d forgotten I had some of them, or hadn’t thought about them for years: the merit certificate from 6th Grade; the photo ID card from secondary college; my airline tickets, reservation letters, and receipts from my 4-month overseas trip when I was 20; the wedding invitation and thank you note from friends who have since divorced; letters from the never-quite boyfriend of long ago; postcards from friends I’ve since lost touch with.
Snippets of my life, my friends’ lives, and the points where they intertwined.
I’ve put them in a different, smaller box, along with other ephemera. They’re not important, official documents; they probably, at some time, will be tossed out. Even if by some small chance I end up being famous, I can’t imagine any archive wanting a silver-fish nibbled swap-card album from the late 1960s, with only a dozen cards in it… but that’s my name, written in a painstaking, childish hand on the front, and my pre-1969 address printed in my Dad’s handwriting, and it and the letters, postcards and other items are tangible reminders of connections, the love, and the friendships, of my life.