Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sunset in Portland and Thinking About Junk
What I notice about junk is that if you care for something enough, you can usually revive it. (Most Mexicans know this. It is partly how the economy works in Mexico and why yard sales are so expensive there.) Also, once I get rid of something I will need it within the next few days or weeks. The housemate here is an architect. He put an old plotter in the sale. A plotter makes blue prints. They are very expensive when they are new but they have to be connected up to computers. This old one wouldn't work on a newer computer. His boss told him to get it out of the office. He put it in the garage here. He tried for weeks to sell it but no one wanted it. He said, Give it away. I need it out of here and I can't sell it. Someone, (a Mexican) took it the first day. And guess what, two days later the housemate came in and said, Today I was offered me a hundred dollars for that plotter.
I have experienced this phenomena time and time again. Something that I haven't used for years, once it is out of the house, within days, I need it. Thus, the hoarding instinct.
Also, if you care for an object, and give it your attention, it starts to be useful. A good cleaning can do wonders for things. Simple repairs can make useless things valuable again. I believe that I inherited this quality from my father. He would haul a truck load of junk to the dump and return with it refilled. I used to love to go to the dump with him. I don't know if they allow people to wander around in the dump anymore. But at that time I got to play the old pianos and jump on the piles of tires. It was fun. But when we returned home my mother was always furious. She was the minimalist. It is good to have both in one family. Otherwise, things get out of hand.
I had a half brother. I didn't meet him until he was in his sixties. He passed away right after he retired. He was my father's son. He looked like my father. He acted like my father. He was a garbage man all his life. I know there is a better word for that job but I can't think of it at the moment. He loved junk, like my father. Like me. His wife said he was always bringing home broken radios to fix and other things. I have another brother. He is like my mother and he isn't like us at all. The realist. The minimalist. A police officer all his working life. Funny how so much is inherited. When I met my half brother I felt as if I had known and loved him all my life. We were so much alike. Left handed, emotional, kind of scattered, junk lovers......Also dreamers.
Sometimes I think that junk is a lot like people. If you focus your love and energy on people, they shine. They are healed, fixed. It is all in what you value. People and things respond to love and attention. That is my theory.