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Monday, April 19, 2010

the TRASH heap

Its natural to establish routines, and rituals...especially when you moved to a new town. It's a way of slowly carving some order outta the big block of chaos it can be....but that's part of the fun...

One of my rituals is my weekly Tuesday visit to the Goodwill in far flung southeast Portland. I jump on the bus and ride out there to poke around, see what I can see, and get a little inspiration from out of the chaos of crap on the shelves.

I love wandering the aisles, scanning the crowded shelves, on the alert for the unique, and unusual...the odd...the priceless (and for such a low price...).

It reminds me constantly of a scene in the movie RETURN TO OZ, when the young Dorothy must wander through the rooms of the Gnome King's underground palace...looking for objects that may be the reincarnations of her friends...recently transformed for the purposes of a cruel game...and hidden
amoungst his formidable tchochke collection: there are amazing things hidden in the vast huddle of detritus, if you only pay attention.

I always manage to find things that leave one marveling:

"WOW, Someone actually thought this thing into existence.."

I have two special weaknesses:

1. Homemade ceramic projects (banished to a goodwill shelf possibly because it's creator was embarassed at their lack of artistic prowess... or the receiver of this piece felt they had held onto it long enough- I am not being snarky or snobby by-the-way..),

2. Fascinating CANDLES: you would not believe the objects out there with a wick spouting off the top....(someday I am going to start a collection, because someone needs to get them all into one room...).

It takes discipline to be focused, and be able to single out objects in the chaos, and yet, remain relaxed at the same time:

concentrating, but out of the corner of one's eye...

I love seeing a mate to a coffee cup or vase, seen (possibly bought) in another store, hundreds, even thousands of miles away in another running into family.

Or the juxtaposing of different lives...different religions brushing up against one another....

...the shelves lined with endless milkglass flower vases send me back in time to catholic grade school...the bouquets of roses in those vases in front of a painted ceramic statue of the virgin mary were in every room...never far from your sight...

There can also be something sad and depressing about it: the unnecessary purchases, the things that MUST be had, only to be discarded. The mementos of trips embarked upon, t-shirts from amusement parks to remember the occasion by only subsequently to realize it ain't really that worth commemorating...
How fickle and frivolous we all are...

POSTSCRIPT: Someone needs to tell where this obcession with owls comes from? Why they are represented in almost every material, and not just from the seventies either...and why they all seem to gather at goodwill...? Does the OWL represent something to the human subconsciousness...?

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