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Writing

Toward Season’s End

Thistle near the state park trail.

Just like that! Temperatures are cooler. It has been in the mid-fifties overnight, with a daily high in the seventies. The shift toward season’s end is happening. Ready or not, here it comes.

This winter I’m again planning to devote significant time to my autobiography. I wrote good pages last winter and would like to move the narrative along. If I learned anything it’s that the task is monumental. Without organization, I’ll never finish.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m upgrading my computer CPU to a new one. As I do so, I’ve been going through countless files to see what is relevant to an autobiography. I printed a few things out. The more I look, the more files I find that can be permanently deleted. A person only has so much time to spend with old things that depart from the narrative that is to be preserved. Best to purge it now and get it done.

I resisted going through all the physical objects last winter. The boxes, albums, photographs, files, books, clothing and trunks are everywhere and need to be gleaned for relevant artifacts. Maybe I’ll spend time on that this year. If I do, the idea is to organize things chronologically instead of thematically. That mean busting up boxes and folders I once thought went together. As I extract and refine what I’ll use, there will be no going back. I’m okay with that. As I proceed with computer files I’m finding my organizational process was more a hodge-podge than orderly.

I stopped work on the autobiography mid February as my attention turned to the garden. If I repeat the cycle, I should be able to get a solid five or six months work done. The document on which I’d first like to make progress is called the “book tree.” It’s an outline of how I currently see the narrative progressing. There is a month or more work improving it. In the end it will make writing the narrative easier. Last winter I got addicted to word count. I need to let go of that for the moment and focus on what will be the story. That’s honest, journeyman work to which I look forward.

There are still things to do in the yard and garden. With the hot, humid weather I delayed until there is no more delaying. The grass is turning green and needs mowing. Before I do that I have to clear what became a weed patch upon which to place the clippings. I also have to pick a plot to plant garlic in four or five weeks. By the way, the garlic came in really good this year.

I don’t know how long the autobiography will take. What I expect is it will make life easier for whoever takes charge of my stuff when I’m gone, if for no other reason than that there will be less of it. I cling to the present life yet realize I need to let go. Upgrading my CPU is as good a metaphor as any for that.

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