I discovered today that I’ve forgotten all the songs I ever wrote on guitar. Parts of a few came back, but I couldn’t play a single song from start to finish. Also, I’m down to just four chords.
I’ve probably written twenty-five songs on the guitar, some of which were good. I say were because they’re gone now – or most are, the only exceptions being the handful I recorded and possibly a few that musician friends once played and might remember. The rest are lost, likely forever.
What’s interesting about this is how little I care. I used to hold on more, I used to try to preserve things – letters, photos, mementos. But during my last apartment move, I trashed several boxes of such items, recognizing that it had been a decade or more since I’d opened them.
It’s a kind of storage problem. The longer I live, the more past there is to save, and yet my capacity for storage, both physical and psychological, diminishes in equal measure.
Holding on is a losing strategy. Not that there’s a winning strategy.