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grateful for garbage

October 8, 2014

I don’t remember when exactly it started, but for at least a year I’ve been keeping my eye peeled, when walking down any street, for any flat-surfaced object that had been left on the sidewalk and thrown away.

My favorite find was while I was walking to my friend’s house and came upon these big, thick black boards that I imagine were used for a marketing pitch (and not a successful one, they were broken in half).  I had no conceivable reason to have these boards in my life but I just had a feeling someday I might.

So I picked up as many folded boards as I could carry and proceeded to my friend’s front door.  When he opened it I said, “I just picked these up off the sidewalk… and I’m gonna leave them in your house until I can come pick them up with a car.”

And then few months later my friend purchased her first home.  And somewhere in our conversation, she told me there was a main wall in the dining room that she wished she had a big “be grateful” for.  I told her I would LOVE for her to hang one of my “be gratefuls” in her first home, and we started talking about sizes.  I went to my growing pile of garbage next to my dresser and sent her a picture of one of the black boards, and we decided that that would be perfect.

~Angela’s Painting~

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The growing pile of garbage in my room eventually started including any potentially paintable flat surface I came across.  And whenever I was home with no plans, I’d look through the pile and pull out my next canvas.

One Friday night before a beach-day-Saturday I pulled out a little black piece plastic that had been the backing to an oversized necklace I bought from Forever 21.  I decided I was going to paint it, and then leave it at the beach for a stranger.

~the beach leave~

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Lately I’ve found myself in between social lives, as I describe it, and at home with no plans a lot more often.  I just finished my second piece of “trash art” in a week and am so grateful for this hobby I’ve developed.

~these don’t have names yet~

 IMG_1046IMG_0966

 ……

My entire intention with the spreading the words “be grateful” and “be grateful please,” has always been to contribute to the cycle of gratitude and abundance I see spinning all around us all the time.

I’m so grateful to have cultivated this hobby.  It provides me with a positive way to spend the hours of my life, and hopefully provides the world with a gentle reminder which they may be needing.

……

don’t ask what the world needs

find what makes you come alive and go do that.

because what the world needs

is people who have come alive.

-howard thurman-

……

** I couldn’t give this post it’s title without giving a shout to my dad.  I’m dedicating this post to him for encouraging me, whether I liked it or not, to see the potential magic available in thrown-out-pieces-of-garbage.

Thanks for being the example you were pops.  I’m still drawing the line at climbing in that dumpster with you, but maybe I won’t hide on the floor of your truck while you’re digging around.  Love you! **

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