Harriet: What’s In My Dumpster These Days…

Posted on August 2, 2004 by Sara Hickman. | Comments Off on Harriet: What’s In My Dumpster These Days…

I am reading the biography of Harriet Tubman. It is factual and clips along; not much fanciful storytelling by the author, but who needs a storyteller when you are reading about this woman. Good Lord! She should have a national holiday. She is such a heroine in my eyes…I can not believe someone hasn’t made a movie about her life. Honestly. I am sitting here, scratching my head with DISBELIEF, that this woman has NOT been REVERED in every way. Why isn’t there a coin with her profile? Why don’t parents say to their children, “Honey, when you grow up, always try to be like Harriet.” When folks run for president, shouldn’t they say, “And like Harriet Tubman, I will lead my people to safety, where the shores are hallowed ground and everyone is treated with respect.”

Chant with me: MOO-VIE! MOO-VIE! Maybe we could send a petition to Hollywood. Hmm. Who could portray Harriet with dignity and strength?
I know. Do you?

I have been going deep into my closet and throwing things away. I have a room being added to the back of our house, and with a gianormous forest green dumpster sitting on my driveway, I find it an invitation to FUNG SHUE.
(I think I spelled that wrong. Does that look like some nasty sort of foot disease?) Well, you know what I mean.

So, I have all these videos, newspaper clippings, photographs, you name it.
Stuff from another lifetime. Stuff I was keeping because I thought, perhaps, someday my girls might grow up and be keen on seeing what I did as a performer. But then that dumpster showed up. And, I realized, “Stop holding on to all that stuff!”

I take boxes of things outside. The girls ask, “What are we throwing up into the dumpster?” and I say, “Pieces of my life!” but I say it like an elf escaping a dark fantasy. It feels FANTASTIC to watch this stuff fly up UP UP and over into
the old bricks, glass shattering, the sounds of plastic splitting. We smile at one another, and before we know it, we are in the middle of a throwing frenzy.
Sometimes a video won’t make it over the top, but hits the outside of the dumpster with a dull thump, then falls to the ground, and that hurts, a little.
I don’t really want to see parts of myself exploding on the drive. I like that they just go up and disappear. Kinda like video heaven: tape melting in the sun and becoming one cosmic blob inside a container bound for a land fill. (Sorry about that…but everything returns to dust at some point. I can’t burn these things, and I hate when they end up on EBAY, with someone making money off my life experiences and musical attempts.)

Lance said two things about it all: first, now I have a DVD. So, I can get rid of these things… to which I responded, yes, that’s true, but Gene didn’t put EVERYTHING on there, honey! And this is my life, this is a part of me…
(Odd how I’ve gotten attached to things I never watch nor things I never read, but I guess it was an experience to go through and see how much I’ve done that no body knows about! Not even me, til I relived it. All those moments went by so quickly, I don’t know that I could even keep or nor enjoy what was going on!)

Then, as he and I were hurling items into the dumpster last night, he commented, “Wouldn’t that be funny if Joy was in the dumpster now? You’d be hitting her on the head again with stuff from your past!” And I said, “That would be SCARY!”, but I had to laugh. Funny how it all comes around, you know?
And we have to be open to the letting go!

Speaking of the girls, we are now reading “The Little Prince” to them. It is so enchanting. The entire opening chapter still cracks me up. The drawing of the elephant inside the boa constrictor, and adults thinking it is a hat.

We had family movie night last night…Lance rented “SPELLBOUND”, and the four of us lay on the sofa bed, watching kids feel the pressure of spelling in their regional, and finally, national spelling bee. Good stuff! Tonight, Lily and I were practicing spelling, and it was adorable to watch her gather her wits and imitate the children in the film….spelling each letter meticulously, carefully…
“ponder” and “cantankerous”…

I made cookies today. When they were done, the girls made a huge pitcher of iced water, gathered up two glasses, a plate of cookies, and we delivered them to the duo of construction workers outside. When we opened the back door, the
men appeared to be two and a half feet tall, standing in a ditch they have been digging the last two days. It made us giggle to hand the cookies down to them, as if we are three giant girls from the Land Of Kitchen.

Summer is ending. We went swimming, but there was hardly anyone at the pool. Except for life guards (one who chunked a twenty pound concrete block into the twelve food deep end to see if he could retrieve it with one hand..I’m not kidding) and a baby with a beach ball. And a fifty five year old man showed up, outside the fence, hawking $5 pizzas. He had a stack of those giant square cardboard boxes between his hands, and he looked like he was asleep, until he would burst out with, “PEEEEZZZZZAAAAAHS! GETCHER PEEEEZZZZAAAAHS for five dolllllllllaaaaahhhhs!”, his eyes the size of the moon and his face all read, then, just as quickly as he had exploded, he’d return to his mid-afternoon snooze, standing like an oily cow asleep in the sun, just waiting for a cow-tipper to tip him over. Lily immediately got hungry, but I told her I wasn’t buying a pizza from a man I hadn’t seen make the pizza.

I got mad today thinking about DVD players in cars. I know I’ve kavetched on them before, but why why why can’t people see the correlation between numbing and dumbing? There are times when we, as a family, get a little ancy or bored, but then one of us comes up with some silly word game, or notices something outside on the lawn (today it was a dove and our beloved mockingbird) or whatever. Those moments, albeit seemingly trivial, are important to bonding and growing, as children, and as a family.
Without them, how can we grow in strength, grace and love?

Right after the national holiday for Harriet gets passed, I’m going to speak out for a national week of NO TV. Can you imagine? Ha ha ha. Now you KNOW I am a dreamer! But, hey, there are ramps for the handicapped and vegetarian meals available in every restaurant because someone believed and went after it. You never know.

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