I really should have called this post “cull” because I’m having a hard time actually purging.
I’ve been on a kick to sort the paper in my office. Boxes of files, cabinets of files, files of files – I am surrounded. It starts innocently enough when I grab a 3-inch stack of paper or an overstuffed binder or accordion folder and say to myself “I haven’t touched this in years, I don’t know what it is, I can probably throw it straight into the recycling”.
And then I check. Just to be sure. Who knows if an heirloom photo, a diploma or a stray Apple stock certificate is lurking in there. Could happen.
30 minutes later I can’t seem to part with the lecture notes from a class I taught on Contemporary Moral Problems. Some pithy stuff about normative ethics and the Challenger disaster, or Augustine’s analysis of lying to liars (seems like it should be morally okay doesn’t it) and 40% of what I started out purging is now merely culled.
Why is it so hard to let go of some things?
It’s highly unlikely I will ever teach philosophy again, I barely read it and almost never even talk about it, so why can’t I chuck the notes & articles? I’ll ponder this while I find someplace to wedge this binder in my “archives” file cabinet. Calling it archives is my clever way to mask hording chunks of my past.