Every once in awhile I brave the dark corridors of my closet, or a filing cabinet and throw things out. The truth is, if someone crept in while I was away and threw everything out that is in the back in a box, I would never miss it. But once you expose short stories and letters from camp pen-pals and dusty little buttons from your grandmother to the light, they somehow reclaim a feeling of importance. How did I live without that? I finally threw out all rejection letters that didn't have a note of positive in them. It's strange to read the rejection letters next to the acceptances. In one breath my writing hasn't caused them to fall in love, and just a page away, it has.
To one editor, my writing was melodramatic. To another, it was stellar. How strange. How maddening. How funny a way to look at oneself.
Mostly I like to read my old writing. Stories and vignettes long forgotten and abandoned, half started about obsessive-compulsives with dying mothers or ticket scalpers or virgins in Italy. A strange melange of thought and dream, these papers. I still miss the rapture that came in those days, when writing felt alchemical--transformed me from screwed up girl into someone with a sense of purpose.
Writing still transforms me, or maybe more accurately it keeps me balanced, but I am often mystified by the girl who wrote a particular paragraph. Wondering who I was at that given time, with only those few sentences there to explain anything.