Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Gleaning In: The Remains of a Season, it's little Triumphs and Rewards

Since I was so busy with major projects this summer, it was in between the jobs and the errands that little miracles and serendipities presented themselves.  

As some of you already know, the trick is to be open to the moment.  At our only visit to the Hollywood farmer's market this summer, a glimpse gleaned  of what we'd been previously missing.

From an arid and unlovely part of the San Fernando Valley (up the road from a landfill and across the street from an industrial metal supplies warehouse): a large stainless steel fish poacher gleaned (for 6 dollars!) from a junk shop full of giant plaster Marilyn Monroes and crippled limbless chandeliers.

(Now I just need to glean a big pike or a salmon?)

Back at the greenmarket: undreamed-of geometries.

This guy wasn't sure if he wanted me to take a picture of him.  But he lingered.  I might have gleaned a piece of his soul but I will handle it respectfully.

Behind the market some rumpled English people were clearing out a building and offering chairs-desks-cabinets for sale.  This picnic basket sitting among the office furnishings: also only six dollars!  Well I had to  glean it.  No?

Going to the market late when people are ready to pack up again, yields bargains.  (A favorite strategy of mine, though I am a natural straggler anyway.)

These zinnias: three dollars!  The last lot on the table!  (Grown at Silver Lake Farms in my own neighborhood.)  Little things can mean glean a lot.

I think I always have been and always will be an enthusiastic gleaner, inspired by my frugal Chinese mother and the marvelous Agnes Varda's film, "The Gleaner's and I" (and the Napoleonic code).  The eureka moments of gleaning are always sweet.  But especially so in golden summer light.

It feels like the the universe's way of rewarding us for our patience and our toil all the other days of the year.

Any other gleaners out there?  


  1. You bet I am! :-) I went gleaning yesterday and found some marvelous treasures. :-)

  2. oh, you a good at it ... I'm not :)