It has taken me a while to fully embrace my attraction to the trash I find strewn along the streets. It started because of my dog, and his shaky understanding of what constitutes something good to eat. In spite of his dependable, healthy diet, his instinct is to constantly sniff and search for edibles on our daily walks together. As his caregiver, I need to scan the path for garbage in order to pick it up before he decides to snack on, say, a greasy napkin.
Because of my natural human instinct to notice bright or shiny objects or familiar shapes, I started to pay more attention to the trash beside the road. I started picking up things like old rusted nails, car parts, broken glass.
Over and over I questioned my attraction to the detritus of modern life.
Was I turning into some kind of Hoarder?
Was an intervention captured by cameras for the A & E Network in my not too distant future?
Eventually I came to the conclusion that I empathized with this trash, with the neglected, rejected, broken and ignored stuff in our midst.
I, too, felt broken, ignored, and rejected.
It all started in the midst of a drawn-out, discouraging job hunt, but I think it's a symptom of our throwaway culture, that people too easily come to feel this way.
So I started to reclaim the trash, to burnish it, and to use it in making jewelry and art. It is my little way of saying that the broken in our midst can also be healed, can be redeemed, can be loved and redeemed. That which is broken can also be beautiful.