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The Sorting Trap

a table full of roughly sorted postage stamps

That time I sorted a packet of German stamps. I really should write up that collection one day…

The camera roll on my phone is a mishmash of hundreds of screenshots, telephone pole posters and landscapes from past hikes.

The bare hard drive connected to my router holds 50,000 other photos from trips around the island in 2008 to Italy in 2016 to the farm in 2021. Plus there are five u-haul boxes in the bedroom with photos from those mystical days before we bought a digital camera in 2007.

My closet contains 36 stock books with stamp collections in various states of progress, from a detailed study of pre-1950 Sweden to a box of Chinese revolutionary stamps roughly sorted by the picture, to a shoe box full of 'miscellaneous'.

This website has more unlisted files - remnants of past blogs, former adventures and closed businesses - than published posts.

There's all the podcast episodes too; recorded conversations with people I care about and am fascinated by, which sit there begging for more attention, more synthesis.

And my coffee cup is sitting on a banker box full of filled journals going back at least 16 years.

I really should sort all this stuff. You know, cull the duds, caption the keepers, match photos with words and tell some proper stories from all of it.

Or I could dig deep into process. Workflows and tools and guides to get everything in its place, nicely sorted so that I can see it all at a glance, access anything merely by thinking about it and add a new item with a flick of an eyelash.

But that's a trap. I know it. Keep looking back, shuffling, sorting and labeling, and I won't be creating anything new. I won't be growing out, I'll be shrinking back.

I'm not done yet. Not by a long shot.

Instead, I'll head outside, gaze at the mountains and try to capture their grandure one more time. And then sit down and write to you.