Thursday, September 5, 2013

Remembering Josh

Recycled materials have stories to tell . . . 
Where they came from, what they may have meant to someone, why they were saved,
how they were found.
What may seem mundane to most might very well be meaningful to someone else. 
We may never know, or even care to question the secret lives of most ordinary objects.
 Things cannot tell us their own stories. Our stories, our memories,
our love is what gives them value.

When I started making 'Beer Art', I put out a call for bottle caps. My sweet art-loving, beer-swilling friends have been eager to support my cause by generously supplying me. One friend traveling in China on business brought back a whole box of Chinese bottle caps for me! Another family went on a treasure hunt through the streets of Cambodia for exotic caps and cans for me to make art out of. And one devoted friend drank a beer she didn't even like
just so I could have the cool can! - Now that's Love!
It's not uncommon for me to find paper bags or small boxes of garbage on my front porch, 
left in the spirit of kindness and art. Offerings of trash to be transformed.
I'm a lucky gal.

This summer I got a package in the mail from a dear old friend.
There was a small bag of bottle caps and a short letter explaining how she found them
in an old beer stein when she was cleaning out her brother's apartment
and couldn't bear to throw them out. 
I knew that she had just lost her brother Josh in a tragic car accident a few months before 
and I was deeply moved by her gesture to pass the caps on to me.

I didn't use all the caps, I used exactly 37 of them. 
There was also a small feather that had made its way into the bag. Was it from his pillow? 
Or his down jacket? It was another little piece of him and it felt important to include it.
I don't know if these caps once meant something to him, but I hope that I have helped 
to make something meaningful for my dear friend Angela.

Rest in peace Josh, we are thinking of you.

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