Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Transfer Station

The Transfer Station


Today I went to the Transfer Station. Lovingly known as the 'dump' or 'swap stop'. I was there to transfer...... Leaving stuff that I am not using with the hope that someone would gleefully grab it up and put it to use. Continuing the cycle of energy that has been stuck (oh so long) in my basement.


Yes, moving is giving me a great time to transfer that stuck energy.  Most of my furniture went to Acton Household Goods Recycling Ministry. ( Families rebuilding after domestic violence or other crisis may have a dining room table, or living room chair, or a bookcase that came from me. It will be one nice thing in their hard world. The interesting thing is how it changes me. Giving all this stuff away to people who want and need it creates an inner well of good energy. I feel happy thinking about that table in someone's home. Maybe one small semblance of normalcy in a ragged life. I smile.


This is in sharp contrast to my emotional response to the many treasures I have in my storage locker. Heavy feelings emerge with the thought of all that stuff. Useful, wonderful, dormant. That's no way to live, is it?


At the Transfer Station, I've left boxes of crafts, sporting goods, exercise things, furniture. And it disappears. I sometimes go back with a second load and much of the first load has been picked up already. It has a home. With someone who wants it. I feel good about that.


One day, I took a big box of candle making supplies:  wax, wicks, molds, book, the whole nine yards.  A woman walked by and I said "It's candle making supplies." She said "OH! I was going to make candles with my daughter!". I replied "Well, there you go. It's just about everything you need to get started."  She took the box and walked away delighted. And I walked away delighted too. I recalled making candles with my daughter, and knew that this pleasure would transfer along into another life. It was like Christmas! That wonderful experience of just giving... no expectation, no keeping track, no response needed... just giving and relishing the fact that joy has been shared.


And, while I think of it, isn't Life just a huge Transfer Station? All the time, we're transferrinig. Exchanging cells, germs, energy, and attitudes with everyone we intersect. Usually unaware and mindless transfers:   a moan or groan, a smile.  Sometimes we're only too aware of the exchange:  shouting, swearing, gesturing, and traffic accidents. But, I'd guess most of our transfers are mindless and lost in the static of life. But they still get picked up. Each transfer has an effect. Somebody picks up the burden of your moaning. Maybe your smile lightened someone's day. And the residue stays with us... Sharing the smile creates more 'smiliness' inside. Sharing the moan... well, it's 'moaney' and tiring, and kind of heavy. Isn't it?


With each transfer we make a difference. We can choose what goods we share and exchange:  tables, chairs, smiles, respect, tolerance, patience. And in the process of giving that stuff away, we find that we feel better, lighter, happier. It's a very peculiar math.... Giving things away you are left with so much more.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Shoe On The Side Of The Road

A Shoe On The Side Of The Road

When I drive, I always notice stray shoes. Shoes on the side of the road. Shoes hanging from overhead wires. Shoes hanging from trees. Stray shoes that usually rest alone in some solitary, forgotten spot.

And I wonder when I see a shoe on the side of the road... Whose shoe was that? Do they know it's there? Did they feel sad when they discovered it missing? Or did they throw it out the window in a fit or anger? Maybe the person they were with had a rage and threw it out the window. Maybe it was on top of the car, and fell off when the car went over a bump. Where is its partner? Still in the car? Maybe the partner was lost long ago and that's why this shoe was discarded... All these questions pop up. Story lines evolve. One stray shoe stimulates all this mental activity.

Sometimes I think about the shoe's life.

It's a sad story when I think someone angrily threw the shoe out the car window, and their friend had to get home with only one shoe. They probably had been drinking, or drugged, and just out of control.

It's a funny story when I imagine the shoe came to life and ran away because it was tired of being walked on all the time. There on the side of the road, a life of leisure, no more smelly feet, no more stepping in ... A metaphor for life, on days when I feel walked on, and just want to escape to a roadside oblivion.

Then there is the drama. There was a big fight. Maybe Bob slugged Harry. And Harry took Bob's shoe. And filled the shoe with stinky slime. And Bob made a nasty face. And he didn't want the shoe anymore. So Bob got in the car, and LEFT the shoe. Right there at the side of the road. He left Harry there WITH the shoe and drove away. Harry was pissed. He, luckily had his cell phone and called his friend Zim-Bob, who dame to pick him up. They drove off to Payless Shoe Store and got Harry some cheap shoes. Then they had a pizza.

And of course, there is the Shoe of Enlightened Communication. After an extensive dialog about a wide range of emotionally sensitive topics, the shoe fell off Glurg's foot, and Glurg, being as enlightened as s/he was, didn't even notice, but continued on in a spiritual quest for Enlightenment, which resulted in the loss of the second shoe (no longer needed in the elevated realm), which is most likely now resting on the side of an Interstellar Highway.

So. You think "It's just a shoe". Think again. It's a universe in that shoe! The whole of life. All the drama, comedy, pain and suffering, and ultimately... Enlightenment... All held in that one shoe sitting on the side of the road. That shoe that most people drive past every day without even noticing.