Saturday, June 19, 2010

In the Society of Bottom Feeders

One is apt to keep company with creative types as one stretches the boundaries of frugality. It’s no wonder we hang with trash pickers, recyclable metal scavengers, and artists. Lately I’ve been having a wonderful email back and forth with a friend who is familiar with the more rural joys of creek fishing, brewing sassafras tea, chomping on red clover flowers, and making what she calls “weed jam”.

I smile when I think of her. In a non sequitur sort of way she reminds me of some favorite things. On our mantle, sitting atop Mr. Man’s head is a primitively painted red wooden toy bird. When rolled on the floor it’s wings flap. As far as I can figure it’s cut from fruit crate wood and thick wire. On the mantle next to it is an acrobatic clown. He’s suspended from two strings through the hands between two sticks. When the sticks are squeezed or released the clown tumbles and dances. He’s made from popsicle sticks and tongue depressors. What binds these things together? It’s the concept of taking what you have and creating something from it. We consider the final products folk art and pay good money for them. But most people would toss these original bits and pieces with little thought to their pleasure giving possibilities.

A while back Buck Weber of The Buck List blog, mentioned a colleague from another country who took all manner of discarded things home with him to repair or re-purpose. Some even Buck scratched his head over. But you never know what kind of vision can be brought to something.

Perhaps it’s because we have too much. We lose sight of beauty potential in the things around us. We play video games instead of waking for a meteor shower. Pity.

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