Maybe it’s because when Wallaby, in poking along the side of our dead-end street on our “walks”, brings me an old straw or a wrapper or whatnot, I say “That’s trash!” and put it in my pocket for later disposal.
Maybe it’s because our garbage and recycling cans have big plastic wheels, and are thus elevated to “car-truck” status in young Wallaby’s eyes, though he also excitedly points and hollers “tash!” too.
Maybe (probably) it’s because every Friday, Dada wheels the trash car-trucks to the end of the driveway, where around ten in the morning a “tash tuck” picks them up and decants them into its huge hopper with lots of Very Cool banging noises.
Whatever the reason, my son has become a huge fan of trash. Our walks have become a tour of the neighbors’ trash cans, each of which is proudly identified and exclaimed over. He has a toy garbage truck that is the Best Thing Ever. Arizona even found the Trash ‘n’ Thrash channel on Youtube, which offers hours of footage of various mechanized trash trucks doing their thing, set to heavy metal.
[For the record, this is far more mesmerizing than it ought to be. Just the other day, Arizona and I were having a deep and serious discussion about how this one side-loader didn’t seem any more efficient than using manpower, when we realized Wallaby was in the other room, playing contentedly with his giant Slinky, while we watched trash trucks on Youtube. Go figure.]
All of which sums to my recent realization that if you look at trash from a certain perspective, it’s pretty cool. It might be leftovers from other things that we cared enough to keep, but it’s hopefully going on to be recycled into something else new and exciting.
I’ve been feeling the same way about my writing in the past few weeks–like I’m about ready to look at it from a new (or new again) perspective, and find some value in the stuff I’ve been throwing out. Not because I want to use the words that didn’t work, but because maybe, just maybe, I’ve fought my way through to the story I actually want to tell … when, for a while there, I was starting to consider whether or not I wanted to keep telling stories.
I don’t know if it’s because Wallaby is starting to sleep longer stretches, because the new-mom hormones are finally leveling off, or if it’s just time, but it’s been a while since I last put my keys in the refrigerator and the milk in my purse, or stood in the shower and tried to remember if I had shampooed yet. And now when I sit down to write, there are words waiting for me. Scenes. Vivid images, sassy dialog, serious sparks (no Autocorrect, not sporks), and the kind of mystery I can sink my authorial teeth into during my hoarded hours of writing time.
Is what I’m writing trash? Possibly. We’ll see. But when it’s time to revise, I’m going to take a page out of my 14-month-old son’s board book and get excited about it all over again.