In the mornings I think about stuff. With two or three coffees, and even more (thinking) lately since I stopped reading three weeks ago. Can’t get a grip on the words. So it’s me and coffee and three steno pads and one wire-bound notebook, a Bic medium pen, and whatever random thoughts stroll in, float in, whisper on in, barge in, those that sing to me, they all go down in their allotted place and most mornings I go back and re-read what I’ve been writing these last 20 days and it helps me to complete the ritual and head down to the basement and write my Morning Pages and other early morning necessities.
The other morning, maybe the end of last week, working on what feels like some synaptic connection between inspiration and common sense, I realized that I needed a place to throw away a whole bunch of my paintings painted these last 10 or so years which I consider nice try but no skippy. Probably about 20 of those. On our street – well, on my wife’s street – trash collection is limited to one gray garbage-like barrel and just twice a month, and anything beyond that costs extra money and the wife (who had me served “papers” by a neighbor yesterday), anyway, the wife has made it clear to me I can’t be running up the bill. So onto a notebook page I wrote I need to find someplace for all the stuff I’ll be discarding and letting go before June. Including those paintings.
Yesterday morning, Monday, I walked out very early, maybe 6:15, onto the front porch and looked to my right and down about four houses, snugged up against the sidewalk and taking up maybe a third of her (the wife’s) street was this industrial looking dumpster, like you might see on a construction site or in some petro-chemical warehouse district. I thought “hmm” to myself. Later in the day, in one or another of my daydreams, I saw myself sneaking out in the middle of the night, my arms overflowing with no-longer prized works of art, and just as I’m about to flex up and throw everything over the side flashlights and floodlights come on from everywhere and I can’t even get out of town right. As in, do not pass go.
This morning, in one of the steno pads, I wrote “Ask the neighbor if you can throw your paintings in his rented dumpster.” So, charged with extra oxygen from a couple of deep breaths, I walked down the four houses and interrupted a garage conversation between people I’ve never met and said , “I’m from four houses down and my wife and I are separating and I have about 20 paintings I need to throw away with nowhere to throw them and I was wondering if I could throw them in your dumpster?” And the guy I’ve never met said something to himself about it probably won’t add much to the weight and looked at me and said, “Go ahead.”
It’s easy to feel like a victim. It’s easy to wonder “Why me?” To ask the Gods. Lucky for me about four decades back I was introduced to the idea that there was some power, some force in my life, that had the goods on me and – in spite of that – had my back. Always had my back. Had my back even when it all seemed like a shit show. A number of people have reminded me of this fact the last 20 days, and, me myself, well I’ve moved a lot closer in touch what that power, the one I ask for help for a grateful heart every morning. The one who has me still here – up above however sad the ground is. Some cat with a plan for me.
Like a dumpster down the street.
I’m planning to throw them in the dumpster tomorrow. This one.