I can't help it. Eraser and True Lies (and all of the Die Hard movies - yes, all of them) - I love them. I get in a mood to bash up some bad guys, and I put the disk in (and I set up the ironing board and get out the shirts or the altar linens), and Arnold or Bruce or someone like that just clears 'em all outa there. And no mess for me to clean up afterwards! It's a pretty good deal, I think.
Somewhere near the center of my chest and up in my neck and shoulders, bashing up the bad guys is connected to having a good clear-out. That's what Jean calls it in As Time Goes By. "A good clear-out." From under the stairs, from the back of the cupboards and the closets ... a good clear-out for donating things or taking them to the country house or throwing them away entirely. A good clear-out feels very action heroey to me.
And so, apparently, does moving all my RSS feeds to a new reader. Who are all these people I've been "following?" Why did I put that one in there? Oh, good grief. I haven't looked at that in ages! ... or, sometimes, Awwww.... I'd forgotten about that one. I wonder why he's not posted in a long time.
But one thing about a good clear-out (or thinning the carrots in the garden, callously discarding so many tiny orange strands, playing God like that ...) one thing about a good clear-out is the moments of pulse-quickening, "You've been erased." You, Mr. Snarkyman. The tools of irony, wit, and even bare-knuckle sarcasm -- you're not up to it. You're a whiner. You've been erased. Oh, my. This woman. I'd forgotten about her. No wonder I never follow that link and look at her page. That level of intensity over sock drawers and flea market finds ... no thanks. It's just not going to happen. Some stuff goes away because, like the denim jumper, it's just not me anymore. And some stuff goes away because I'm tired of averting my eyes. Erased. You're not coming to the new reader, you ... You've been erased.
But there's another thing about a good clear-out. It's the reason I used to put money in my books at school (which turned out to be a bad idea, since I could never remember which books), and it's the reason putting away the holiday decorations between Epiphany and Advent II or III is better than Christmas in July. There's the thrill of re-discovery.
In my old web crawler, under the headings of Books and Writers, or Homeschoolers (the two largest categories in my list) are a few real gems. "Families" and "Folks" are pretty promising boxes to sort through as well. It's reassuring. Restorative, even. It's an exercise in appreciation of the friends and family and peers and admirable people that surround me - people to whom I want to measure up - people who help me remember to laugh or to rewrite my work or to say thank you.
No, I'm not going to share my list. I won't say who's being erased. But you? Have I erased you? Probably not. If you read this blog, you're probably going into the witness protection program. I'll know where you are. Me 'n' Arnold 'n' Bruce. We only shoot the bad guys.