Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Trash talk

There are things in one's life that outlive their usefulness.

Whether it's a staying in a stale relationship, going to McDonald's, enjoying Kenny G or keeping crap you just don't need any more, some things simply don't keep a relevant place in a conscious life.

And there are opportunities to elegantly walk away, not participate, not listen, not do, not try, not accept less, not hold on just for the sake of holding.

It's no more tangibly expressed, this letting go, than checking out other people's trash.

The examples are everywhere. Lovely, classy Sue from work and I had a conversation today about what she terms 'garbage picking'.

She brought photos on her camera, and we strolled through several of her garbage picking outcomes. I'll add photos from Sue's trash finds later, but let me tell you: she knows where to troll the trash.

She showed me a beautiful vintage secretary which integrates perfectly into her home, which, of course, is classy. She noticed the piece sitting next to someone's trash, ready to go to the landfill.

She said she'd knocked on the door of the folks who'd set the secretary out for the trash man, and it was legit - they had no use for what, to Sue, was a complete free find.

Similarly, a few years ago I was in the market for a dining room set. And poof - on the way to work one day, a man had set a bunch of furniture by the side of a busy downtown street, and my dining room set was among his offerings.

It looks very Eames-ish to me, very '60s, very atmospheric. It's a drop-leaf that extends big enough to entertain at least eight people very comfortably. Here's what it looks like when it's all reigned in:

It fits so nicely in my dining room. And notice the chair to the right. So perfect.

And I particularly like the way this table gets bigger. Open up the center and the leaf is built in, just hiding there, waiting for more company. Here's the design:

Flip up the leaf, and you have a party. Pull up the drop-leaf sides and you have an event.

And the whole set cost me $200.

There's a lot to be found by the side of the road. What some people want to unload is exactly what you might like to weave into the fabric of your world.

It all comes down to conscious living. Sometimes the only drive is to get to work, single-mindedly and unobservantly getting to the next obligation.

But there are priceless gems everywhere, if we just look around. It's about seeing the value in the discards.

Trash talk can be a very rich conversation.


  1. Wait... so... are you saying there was a time when it was useful to enjoy Kenny G?

  2. Did you ever find out what kind of table it is i think i have your twin.

    i think. Mine looks like duncan phyfe on bottom with 2 legs on each leg
    Just dont want to mess it up.