Blue Box Top

   On the steel bridge is one of three picks of the litter. It is a square top to a box, sturdy and decorative with an arabesque floral design which most likely held either stationery or fancy soaps. I pick it up. First pick of the litter is a bread bag closure, the squarish plastic ones that are so neat and ubiquitous as paper clips, kind of. The third item is wrapping from girl’s tights that I find in the parking lot.

   When I went away to college I took with me a liquor box with a middle partition and in half of it I placed a collection of pictures and pamphlets I liked, to use as creative spurs. In a way it was a crutch, because I lacked some of the necessary confidence to imagine things on my own – or so I felt.

   That half a box has grown to filling an attic, several closets, the space above the washer and dryer, all of my studio and desks and the garage, except when I clean it to make room for the car in winter.

    The name for this is my Archives. It is as valuable to me as the Bettman Archives. It may be as valuable to YOU.

   When I moved in, a process which took me a month as I was overlapping in living places one May. I moved everything in the house myself, using my old Ford pickup truck. Everything except a trunk, the bed, and a dresser.

   The old neighbors couldn’t believe how long it took me to clear my space. One of the new neighbors said to me:

   “You have more than a person has a right to have.”

    At first I took some offense to this – the search for things of interest has filled many lonely hours. It is a source of pleasure to collect a thing or two that is special to you. Artists are very often collectors and a review of artist and writer studios reveals most of them love to search and hunt for things to keep in bushels and pecks. The most notable exceptions are Magritte and Yeats, who kept austere, striking homes.

   On  my six-mile sunny walk, no herons until the steel bridge near Plum creek, when a big long bird flew from the creek, over a gaggle of geese in the creek and let out a squawk of protest. There is a second small and graceful heron in the water across from an outlet pipe near the intersection of Broadcasting and Tulpehocken roads.

   Later this evening, after a rendezvous with Brumby and a doling out of carrots and affection, I stumbled upon the Union Canal Tunnel in Lebanon while looking for a tack shop that seems no longer to exist. The little park that goes with the historic tunnel is very attractive! Must go.

   At Blouch’s Lukoil in Lebanon got Six dollars gas and when I purchased five candy canes for a dollar, they gave me a sixth free.


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