I’ve written a lot of posts that contained embarrassing self-disclosures, but this one is a stretch, even for me.
First of all, I’m not clear who to credit for this challenge, but since perspective is one of my driving, life-force words, I’ve decided to just write and share photos anyway.
Here’s the story.
I have been photographing a tiny piece of mystery debris on my street for over a year. No idea why. Can’t really justify it except I spotted it, and became intrigued, and over the months, it evolved into a mild obsession.
I have thought at length about why in the world I would become so interested in this scrap of trash, and the only thing I can come up with is my Dad. It’s his fault really. He taught us very early on that boredom was a sin against Nature, and that if we used all of our senses, and just changed our perspectives, we could always find at least one miracle.
“Just look at the ground”, he would say. “It’s covered with magic!”
(I wrote about this in a story, with working title The “Ruler” and the Torn Screen or One Square foot and posted it on on V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #40 “Things my Father said”)
I guess what grew from that particular Dad-Lesson was a life long habit of looking down at the ground, always in search of treasures! No surprise one of my favorite activities in life is Beach Combing. I have huge collections of rocks, shells and beach glass! I have even been known to collect tiny treasures right off the street, especially if it’s been too long since I’ve had a trip to the ocean.
I’m fairly easy to please.
I have photographed what I am walking on many times…
Even modern day litter…
So spotting this one piece of junk on my daily walk was not the surprise. It simply stood out. Unidentifiable, it caught my eye.
The surprise was that I started looking for it every day. Every single day. I became more and more curious about why it never, ever moved. Its location was on a high-traffic part of the street. With all the cars, bikes and people passing over that very spot every day, it should have been run over…repeatedly.
So I decided to actually start tracking it…on purpose…and taking its picture…
Uh oh, I had bonded with a fragment of litter.
Seriously, and now, over a year later, and I’m even writing a Post about it.
But wait , as Paul Harvey used to say, here’s “the rest of the story”…
Last week on my regular morning walk, I got to the top of my street, where my Scrap lives…and it was gone! GONE!
I figured a car tire had finally knocked it off to the side, but after a long, elaborate roadside search (yes, a search) for my missing piece of rubbish, I had to accept it was over. My mystery remnant was truly missing.
In a world of uncertainty, a tiny, but predictable piece of my daily life, was gone. Sigh.
Believe me, the symbolism and the underlying explanations for this attachment are not lost on me. Been thinking about it all week. The pandemic. Being locked in my home, except for this daily walk, for 142 days. Reminders of my Dad, and wondering how he would have looked at today’s confusing, emotional, frightening new normal, ETC.!
I tried to find a replacement touchstone, something more permanent, and spotted this whale (or maybe it’s a country in Europe)…
But when looking through photos for this post I discovered this formation, permanently embedded in the street, had been there all along.
Anyway, this morning….I’m on my walk, approaching the former location of, you know who, (my reliable and familiar bit of trash), I decide maybe one more look around…
And there, well off the pavement, directly in a beam of early morning sunlight, I see this!
I was disproportionately happy!!
And YES, of COURSE I brought it home with me, and put it in the cabinet with all the other treasures! It’s just not safe out there for such a vulnerable little guy.
Yep, I’m glad I’m so easily entertained. Thanks Dad!
‘A good photograph is knowing where to stand’