IMG_7056Value doesn’t necessarily relate to dollars and cents. My plaster Native Americans were a garbage pick, and yet they give me no end of pleasure. I photograph them through the seasons; try to guess what they are thinking, imagining conspiracies, turns of mood, and the vagaries of friendship. Recently, one tumbled off the deck (probably the result of a hungry squirrel’s movements). It was shocking to see this guy all by himself. They had moved around the yard, but never been separated. Of course, I had to ask: What happened? Was there an argument? An ugly remark? Or has the fallen given over to an unseen grief?

Some garbage picks end up back on the curb. Even though ANY possession can be thrown out, we ought to feel a particular ease putting something we found in the garbage BACK into the garbage.  Alas, such is not always the case. To cultivate this ease, I have developed a clutter-clearing mantra especially for found items: (to be said in the voice of a graveside pastor) — “Here you go, thing, curb to curb”.

12 thoughts on “Value

  1. karoda

    I have to mantra myself to NOT rescue every single thing because, afterall, every thing had value even when it isn’t readily apparent.

  2. Anneliese

    I try to understand your post. Are you really throwing away the fantastic sculpture. Oh I should pick it up at once and put it in one of my gardens – but I am far away (Germany)…… Loved your post and your words.

  3. Michelle in NYC

    VALUE is a gift from the viewer. I have too much clutter and love your mantra, but have to make one for my own circumstance (three walk up flights from the street, and three blocks to the thrift stores is my obligation to things I once valued, but must release back to the world).

  4. deedeemallon

    Karoda – I think artists, in particular, can get weighed down by our ability to suspect that a thing has value, even if we don’t know what it is at the moment of grabbing it. I don’t plan to relinquish that part of my brain, or that kind of collecting… I just want there to be ROOM for what I save, and SPACE in which to see and remember what I have.

  5. deedeemallon

    Michelle — ACH! No curbside pick up? I used Craigslist ‘CURB ALERTS’ to help 15 large bags of fabric find new homes last year… but that method relies on having garbage service that comes round right in front of my house…. but you remind me that clutter and our approach to having it or ridding ourselves of it is an incredibly personal one. I like to see what I can learn from others, but ultimately it has to work for me…

  6. Nancy

    Ahhh…clutter. A subject for all time. So many ways to see it, discuss it, conquer it (or attempt to). My current ways are donate, sell pass along to someone specific or into the trash! That about covers it…at least I hope so!

  7. Mo Crow

    when I shared a flat with my friend friend Olga we had limited space so she made this rule if we brought anything into the house something had to go it has worked well as a rule ever since

  8. deedeemallon

    Peggy – that’s funny! A statuette with no legs or arms asserting his need to fly!! I love it.
    Mo – that rule is a good one. Even if not exercised with rigor. Just asking the question while in a store can make one pause just long enough to resist.


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