Deleting People.

I’ve spent the past hour or so going through my address book in Microsoft Entourage. I’m preparing to send out my direct mail piece for the year for MANOVERBOARD and need to prepare the addresses for sending. It’s a depressing task, to say the very least.
I started with 1536 names in my address book. I’m now down to 908. Some of those were duplicates, others were lower-cased names that somehow got stuck in my address book over the past few years. Others were names I no longer recognize. I found the names of old girlfriends who had phone numbers but no email addresses – this was before the ubiquity of email. I found aunts and uncles and cousins with whom I haven’t spoken in many years.
Other entries were art galleries, in New York mostly; these were galleries to which I used to send slides when I was a painter. Ironically, every one of these gallery entries had no addresses attached to them; they’re perhaps ten years old.
Sadder still were the friends and family that had passed away. Some were very close, like my grandmother. I can’t delete her name and address and phone number from my address list. I just can’t. Others had passed and I kept their spouse or partner in the address book. It’s just a small way of remembering these people.
It also means that time has passed by, quickly still. These individuals lived and live and now they are just one small part of my attention; some more than others. The time goes and the entries go.