I’m happy to say that I’ve had a great excuse for not jumping right into spring cleaning. Sally & I are participating in the West Seattle Art Walk this month by having a show of our photographs entitled, What Feeds Us, at a wonderful local coffeehouse, C & P Coffee. This is our first MixedGreens show ever and now that it’s all up on the walls, we’re excited to share it. We’ll be at C & P this Thursday, April 9 from 6-8 and would love to have you stop by to see us and our photos. I’ll put more details at the end of this post and a sneak peek at some of our new work.
Spring cleaning has something in common with our show because both are about defining what feeds us and letting go of the rest. Cleaning is a chance to clear the clutter and make way for the fresh new energy promised by spring. It’s amazing how much stuff can accumulate even with the best intentions. Not having lived through the Depression, I know that having more than I need makes me feel more uncomfortable than worrying about not having what I’ll need in the future. Spring is a great time to sort through and let go — recycle, donate or sell what’s no longer needed.
Seattle Public Utilities is making it so easy to recycle now (as of March 30), there’s no excuse not to. All of the recyclables can go into the same cart — glass, bagged plastic bags and even plastic plant pots, paper & plastic cups, jar lids (wider than 3 inches), foil and foil trays. Even if you compost your own fruits and vegetables, you can put meat, fish & dairy in with your yard waste. After making chicken broth this week, I wrapped the bones in paper and put them in the clean green container. They’ve even opened free drop-off sites for TVs and computer equipment. Last weekend I dropped off an old TV at a Goodwill near my house for recycling. The sooner you recycle electronics, the more likely the parts can be reused.
I have to admit that our basement has become a feng shui nightmare. If any chi ever existed there, I’m certain it’s long gone. It’s so overwhelming that I’ve decided to go through a little at a time until it is predictably dry outside. Then I’ll take everything out and start over again. There’s no way around it — it’s time for what Charlie calls the ” Tai Chi long form.” He means slowing down and being more thorough than I think is constitutionally possible.
Luckily, I was invited to 2 clothes-swaps recently giving me motivation to get started. Hardly anyone has the money to shop for new clothes these days and practically everyone is tired of wearing everything in their closet. I know I am. To host a clothes-swap, just invite a group of friends to come and ask each to bring clothes they’re ready to let go of. Open some wine, put out a few snacks, close the curtains and it quickly turns into a group dressing room with the added benefit of having several friendly opinions about what looks good on you. One of the parties I went to also included swapping books which was great for me since I had just gone through my closet for the first party. Despite my firm conviction not to bring more home, I ended up with a couple of things I’ve started wearing on a daily basis and still feel like I made progress toward decluttering my closet. I keep telling myself there’s no need to wait until my clothes qualify as “vintage” to pass them on.
Taking steps toward living more simply and kicking the over-consuming habit is easier when you remove excess money from the equation — maybe this recession isn’t all bad. Being thoughtful about finding uses for things you no longer need takes more time than simply tossing things in the garbage but it’s time well spent. This is a wonderful opportunity to redefine what is “enough.” Not only will you feel better, it’ll be better for the environment.
What Feeds Us
In our show, we have single images and collage-like groupings exploring the sensual character of food and offering perspective beyond the plate. While there’s an emphasis on whole foods in season, through this collaboration we’re taking a more personal look at what sustains us.
Our photos are printed on environmentally-friendly art paper made with mulberry fiber and printed with archival inks.
The show will be up for the month of April at:
C & P Coffee Company, 5612 California Ave. SW in West Seattle. They’re open M-F 6:30AM – 8:00PM, Sat & Sun 7AM – 8PM.
We’ll be there this Thursday April 9 from 6-8PM. We hope to see you there.