Making Room for Now

the files

The greater story is unfolding before their eyes….and they are clinging to their smaller stories.” – Tina Howard

THE FILE CABINET I want is not in stock. It’s not available online either. But I’ve already given away my old one and the files from it lie everywhere.

I glance at the line-up on the bench, the many linear inches, and see that huge chunks are unfinished manuscripts and bits and pieces of once-important ideas I never started on, clippings that once struck me, the “someday I’ll write about” things.

Are they important to me now? Do I even know what’s there?

* * *

AN ARCHAEOLOGY intern, digging through these remains, might venture guesses about me and what presses in now. They’d get it wrong. No hint exists. Not here. There’s no room for now here.

Maybe a new file cabinet isn’t the answer.

I can’t write the stuff I once did and I need to let it go,” I say and it seems like such an epiphany. But didn’t I say the exact same words to a friend in Texas last September?

She heard me. I was the one not listening.

* * *

EPIPHANIES happen in an instant, but the follow-through can be long in coming.

“The greater story is unfolding before their eyes….and they are clinging to their smaller stories.” I read. Yes indeed. My feet are all tangled up in the old stuff and I have no room for what’s before me now.

Scratch file cabinet from the list. Add shredder.
Time to make room for now.

* * *

See all the Letting Go posts here.

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
This entry was posted in clutter, focus, following through, letting go, listening, transitions. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Making Room for Now

  1. laura says:

    Oh, good grief, now your just getting in my business! (grin).

    Is this a writer-ly thing? This hoarding of scraps of paper and books? Because I”m about ready to lose my mind with the piles. I’m listening to you, Marilyn. Now I just need some NOW so I can work on these things! But I’d rather be catching up with you…


    • Marilyn says:

      I haven’t scrapped everything, Laura, just the things I knew I had no interest in any longer or couldn’t figure out why I’d ever saved in the first place. About 1/3 went to trash, 1/3 moved to the inactive files downstairs and the rest was gone through and trimmed considerably. I really do not need to save every bit of paper from 1995. 🙂


  2. Ann Kroeker says:

    Does it feel freeing to have new ideas, new direction, and a new faith that your writing will be someone new and inspired as fed by “now”?


  3. I have that cabinet too. I go through it and there’s a clipping and I wonder, “what was I thinking? ” But often I go through and get re-inspired. I won’t be getting rid of my files anytime soon — but I commend you for your courage!


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