I cleared two areas of office detritus today. Mostly piles of paper with writing scrawled on it. I went through my business card/contacts pile. I sorted all unfiled paper, some of which had been stacked and re-stacked over a period of several years.
It gave me a very depressing perspective on the casual human contacts in my life. About 75% of every scrap I handled reminded me of a slightly or fully negative experience. By slightly negative, I mean simply an unsolicited artist's card which was aggressively offered by someone whose work I really dislike. Just that tiny little bit of intrusion. No biggy, except that I had a couple dozen such cards, and only a handful from artists of whom I desired such contact info.
I found the cards of people who have moved away or passed away.
I found the designers for whom I'd worked, and various other business contacts, which just didn't work out. Some of this was my earlier inexperience, some of it was their nonsense.
A dog trainer who I met once at a clients house gave me about 50 cards. I don't know why I kept them, but they have been constantly falling out and about, always there. I have handled and shuffled these cards so many times. I mean for years. Yes, I tossed them all.
I found a partial letter from a friend I'd known in Austin, Tx. I keep wanting to contact her again, and I suppose I pulled out this last contact so I could make relevant conversation. It was dated 1990, and I understood none of its contents. I no longer knew the people she mentioned in it.
Some paperwork reminded me of how much time and resources I have spent jumping through hoops for a certain arts organization.
I stopped writing in sketchbooks a couple years ago. I just grab paper now, or use the wall. I found so many sheets of loose ramblings on art. It was in my handwriting, and it was familiar, but it was also peculiar. I threw all these sheets in a folder to be sorted at a future date.
It was a little depressing to be hit by so many years worth of detritus. It was the stuff that could wait and its cumulative aura was just nasty. I do feel jarred out of day job mind-mode though.