Friday, March 2, 2012

Such Beauty Discarded Every Day

Sometimes I wax poetic; I can't help myself. I hope you understand. Better yet, perhaps you can help me. These are the simple but hidden thoughts, not often brought to the forefront. They ramble around in my brain, in my day to day thoughts. What brought all this on you might ask. It was a small circumstance one would never suspect. Sometimes I think the simple things are here to keep my mind from dwelling on the not so simple things if you know what I mean.

We went to the local fish market on our weekly trip. Beforehand we went to a local meat market but that's another story. We also obtained a small previously owned and loved fountain for our outside entry, but that is also another story. Anyway at the fish market there were Canadian mussels for sale. We haven't had mussels since we left California so I thought I would splurge just a smidgen for old times sake.

The mussels immediately reminded me of a time when Gary and I were dating. One day we harvested mussels on the coast of California and later discovered we were harvesting where we shouldn't have been (this too is another story). Anyway today we had fresh steamed mussels with 'drawn' butter.We briefly luxuriated in heaven for the few tiny and tasty morsels. All was well, that is until I began to look at the patterns in the shells, the colors, the surface, the texture. Small morsels of food steamed and eaten; then so many beautiful shells to discard. Wasn't it a crime if I simply discarded such things of beauty? What to do with them then?

In the past I saved them to use in art or craft, but never did. Months, years later, sad to say they went to the landfill. At least they were biodegradable. What to do this time? Should I save them or discard them? Seems a simple thing, I should save them, I might find a use for them. But then Gary will once again be wondering, when he discovers them in a plastic bag under the sink, why I am saving these. What should I do?

I hate to throw them away but I also realize I only have so much time. I never seem to get to all the projects I have such good intentions of getting to with all the saved and found objects stored here and there around the house. Behind this cabinet, under the bed, in a box, up on shelf, they are starting to collect once again. Are you starting to get the picture? I am a bit of a pack rat, a saver of things for a rainy day. I wonder about things discarded, such beauty discarded every day. After all there might be a pearl yet to be discovered. How about you, do you find it easy to discard things of beauty? Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. I have painted mussel shells in watercolour...they truly are lovely. But we can't possibly save everything I guess. I have so much stuff with so many ideas of projects...and I just don't get to them. Maybe in your mind's eye you can save these?

  2. I love how your mind works and the compassionate view you hold for all Life. I'm sure you've thought of this, but what about grinding them into much smaller particles or even a powder and using it in the clay? There's a word for these additions that escapes me....I also wonder if they could be used as some sort of a mulch in one's garden. I'm like you, it's good to find additional uses for such things. It's the best kind of recycling.

    I like how you told a few other things about yourself, by almost telling other stories, all interesting stories I'm betting.

  3. The shells have housed the mussels, transported them safely from Canada to Florida, and the beauty of them has been enjoyed by you and saved via the camera and this blog. Maybe they are now ready to degrade back to the Earth from whence they came and help new life show it's beauty. Of course I'm a minimalist so this is how I think.

  4. ah Linda, you brought back a memory for me too... 20+ years ago I was visiting my then in-laws in mid-coastal Maine on July 4th. We had a mussel feast and wouldn't you know there was a small pearl in one that got caught in my molar. No matter what I tried I couldn't get it out. It was tiny but felt like a boulder in my teeth. The next door neighbor was a retired dentist. We knocked on his door and he agreed to pry it out! It was so lodged in there even he had trouble removing it, but at last he did. Relief! I didn't have to spend the rest of the holiday weekend going nuts.
    I vote for ditching the shells :o)

  5. You have named the perpetual problem of artists. Do I throw it away only to need it for an unthought of project.....or acquire more stuff? I throw stuff out if it's easily replaced.....mussel and clam shells go in the driveway....but we buy mussels all the time. If it would be difficult or time consuming to replicate....I keep it. The downside is that organization is needed to be able to find stuff when it's needed...without doing frenzied searches. this an ongoing question for me?

  6. I have spent way too much time wondering why we keep some things and throw other things away.
    I am learning better how to let go.

  7. Hi Linda, keeping things is something I struggle with though I really prefer a tidy house that is easy to clean (hate housework). I like the comments from Lori and Michele. If you have a gravel drive then crushing them and adding them would be the go. I think they would contain calcium if you were to use them in glazes but that would need more research than I am inclined to do. I like the idea of returning them to the ocean or river to complete the cycle.

  8. Hi Ronna, thanks, I have ever seen a water color painted mussel shell, they must be lovely. I guess you are right we can't save everything.

    Hi Teresa, thanks, yes they could b used for something in a glaze, not sure about grinding them, but maybe I could soak them in water and then use the water added to a glaze to see if the calcium did something unique to the glaze. I just love the inside of them the matt colors of gray and black. Oh I might be able to line my vegetable garden with them and when it rained they would give off some trace nutrients to the vegetables and they would look nice too, great idea.

    Hi Lori, thanks, I try to be a minimalist in my home but these little things sometimes call out to me for some reason or another. At least they are saved here on the blog as you say.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I didn't know if these types of mussels would make a pearl, how wonderful to learn of that from you, of course being stuck in the teeth wasn't fun at all, nothing more annoying than that for sure.

    Hi Suzi, thanks, I think you have hit upon it, the organization, and I see to have stuff scattered all around the house and can never find something I want or discover it years later and then discard it because the time to use it has passed. I see you have been there just like in a frenzied search, oh I just hate that not remembering where I put something.

    Hi Meredith, thanks, yes I keep thinking it's easy for me to let go, but sometimes I forget to remember how. Ha.

    Hi Anna, thanks, yes I like a tidy house but hate housework myself so things are hidden here and there and out of my way. I say I'll do some research on the shells, but I probably won't. I guess I've kind of talked myself out of saving these here on the blog since they will start to deteriorate and give off a fragrance I don't want in the house. Ha.


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