The herd in this case is all the written-on paper I've collected over years some of which dates back to my teens.
I wasn't going to write about it, but this post made me realize the catharsis of writing about it is integral to it.
Much of it was written on by me, but I've got my share of newspaper clippings of items I found amusing. Those were easy to toss.
For example: Years ago a man in Bristol was once so depressed had a friend kill him. The fellow was losing his hair and got it into his head surgery on his testicles would stop the loss.
He had the surgery though the article did not say what kind of surgery was involved.
*Another fellow beat a charge of driving naked from the waist down after he convinced the judge having his girlfriend on his lap rendered his partial nudity invisible to the public.
*About 30 years ago Alberta's then Solicitor General Graham Harle was caught with a hooker.
He said at the time he was researching Edmonton's prostitution problem. I kept a small news story about this noting that Penthouse magazine named him Researcher of the Month.
*All these are amusing enough, but I don't need to keep them.
Culling some of my writing has been more difficult though plenty of the older stuff has been tossed with barely a second thought. But some needs a second or third thought and others I will keep simply because it acts as anchor to a specific point in life.
Here's an example:
silent under the stars
through the fields
past the forest edge.
I've been meaning to do this for years. I am a pack rat by nature, but easy as some of these are to toss it still gives me a pang.
This was me, this is what I felt, thought, believed, wanted at a certain time in my life.
It is my personal history in words. As the ink and paper get slotted into recycling or shredding a bit of me is discarded with it.
It is difficult, but necessary.
I have no need for these items. I have need for the space in my home and in my soul that will be free once they are gone.
And one day, if I don't, someone else will have to do it. If I do it myself now, then the items I collected or created are sent away with love and thanks.
It may not mean anything to the inanimate object, but it does mean something to me.