Live always at the edge of poetic possibilty, even in the face of severe prose. - Walter Bruggemann

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Greetings from the Dump

What a place. The dump, it's great, it's cleansing, it's spiritual, it's fun, it's smelly, it's a haven for scavengers. Too bad they won't let you scavenge. To heave the crapola of your life over the wall and see it smashed into smithereens, is cleansing and spiritual. I always feel happier and lighter after a good dump trip.

Today it was sunny and the dump was humming with activity. I had six bags of garbage from packing and cleaning, some old tattered baskets, a resin yard table that had melted holes in it from fireworks, and a few cracked clay pots from summer's end. One of the bags was so laden with junk that it took all my strength to heave it over the wall. But I did and what a thrill it was to see it land and commingle with everyone else's junk. I love to see other people's junk. Somehow you can catch bits and pieces of their stories in just a piece of wood, or a broken high chair, or old pots and pans.

The guy next to me was getting ready to throw a sweet little wooden chair over the wall. All it needed was to be refinished and it would have made a fantastic addition to my eclectic yet tasteful decor that I am now dismantling and packing up for storage. I almost said to the guy, "wait, are you throwing that away?" Like, what else would he be doing with it at the dump heading for the pit? That' a no brainer. Then, I almost said, "can I have it?" until I saw the NO SCAVENGING signs posted in some key locations? Why the heck can't I scavenge? It's so natural. People are getting rid of this valuable stuff right?...correct me if I'm wrong here. They say one man's trash is another woman's treasure. The dump is a human treasure chest just waiting to be opened.

But then, I came to my full senses once again. It's not that I needed that chair, I wanted it. There's a difference. That's what makes the dump such a introspective and spiritual discipline. I came to cleanse and rid myself of all the things in my life that had collected and caught dust. How quickly I slipped back into and old habit. The sign was my salvation.



Padre Mickey said...

When I lived in San Jose, CA, I loved going to the dump. The kids did too, and we used to sing dump songs and have a great time. I don't understand why they won't let you scavenge; I guess they're keeping it all for themselves.

chuck said...

Honey, it ain't scavenging if you ASK for it! Any true dumper knows it's fair game until it actually goes over the rail. Were you raised in a barn?

Suzanne said...

Dump songs, I never thought of that. That would make the trips even MORE pleasurable. I think they are definately the scavengers.

Chuck aka sistahwife
Why yes, as a matter of fact I WAS raised in a barn. HA

johnieb said...

I still have a photo from the GeHenna dump in Jerusalem c. May 1996 on my desk, with a kid kicking a ball in the distance.