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thriftery..

stopped by the goodwill store on my junk walk..
i used to always think i liked thrift stores because i'm cheap.
now i know better.

did this person donate this skirt because they lost 50 pounds and no longer want 'fat' clothes? or did they gain 50 pounds and not want to be reminded of their thinner, more socially acceptable self. did another person leave behind a men's dress shirt because it was no longer in fashion, or because it was their husband's, who just passed away?

i realized i'm on the hunt for something much bigger than a bargain. i want history. i want to be connected. i want to feel these people's stories by smelling the essence of perfume left behind, beholding the markings from everyday life.

many people ask where the name baby smith comes from..
it was the name given to me by the state of nebraska before i was adopted. although i've met a large part of my biological family and am deeply indebted to my adoptive family for taking me in..............

i'm still searching.

Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
urgent_alchemy
Jul. 16th, 2005 02:41 am (UTC)
i want history. i want to be connected. i want to feel these people's stories by smelling the essence of perfume left behind and markings from everyday life.

I .. that's exactly the reason why I go to flea markets and antique shops.



i've met a large part of my biological family and am deeply indebted to my adoptive family for taking me in.....


I would love to talk with you about this indepth if you're open to do that, being someone who's also adopted (and who hasn't met, yet), I'm always interested to hear all the stories, and get perspective outside of my own.
artworkslive
Jul. 16th, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC)
sure, i'd love to talk about it..anytime.
you said you haven't met yet..i'm assuming that you found each other then, and just haven't physically met? for me, the best part of finding them was that a lot of questions were answered...and some great friendships were made. feel free to ask any questions..i'm happy to share.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 16th, 2005 03:32 am (UTC)
also, it's great to recycle. and you have something, more than likely, that no one else has.



(I have an adopted sister. My mom had her before I came around and did not tell me till I was 30.)
artworkslive
Jul. 16th, 2005 06:38 pm (UTC)
wow, that's a kicker.
did it really make any difference, though? i mean, she's still your sister, only not genetically. growing up with my adoptive family (almost from birth) i think i took on a lot of characteristics and mannerisms from them anyway. people never really assumed i was 'different.'
insufion
Jul. 16th, 2005 06:42 am (UTC)
i like your name a lot!!!
searching too.always searching.walking around and looking for that connection.i've been all over this world searching for something.
i talk to strangers all the time on my wanderings...not becaue i'm a social creature but on the off chance they may have already found what i'm looking for.

i don't know what i would do if i didn't have my wanderings.

the search ,for me ,is the point.the finding has become less important than the search.
artworkslive
Jul. 16th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC)
Re: i like your name a lot!!!
that is SO true. the search is a very important part of living and growing. the process of art making..discovering materials and techniques and letting your mind be open enough to accept different paths..that's a search that i live for. even more than the final product of art itself.

i guess that's what drew me to the idea of assuming the name baby smith again. i'll always feel like that wandering soul..the only thing i'm sure of is that i'm not sure of anything.
loobiloo
Jul. 16th, 2005 08:25 am (UTC)
oh thats sweet and sad too.. I had wondered why baby smith and now it makes sense, of course.


is the searching in thrift stores for someones history a way of looking for your history too?
artworkslive
Jul. 16th, 2005 07:00 pm (UTC)
yeah, i assumed 'baby smith' about 7 months ago, after much soul searching. and i've been wondering how to tell people about the shift..

i think i am searching for a little bit of history in all my thrift store outings. you know, it's weird, cuz i HAVE a history with my adoptive family, it's just not biological. i've always loved them and feel an incredible bond with them..but, it's just not completely settling. maybe if they had never told me i was adopted, i would've turned out differently. maybe not. i'm not complaining, and i wouldn't change my circumstance for the world. it's just one of those things that's hard to describe unless you've lived it.

on a side note..
still haven't gotten your entry..but, i'll cross my fingers for next week. i am SO looking forward to making your piece!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
loobiloo
Jul. 16th, 2005 10:34 pm (UTC)
Yes, i can understand what you are saying, tho ive not lived it myself, but it makes complete sense to me. Hope its something you get to feel sorted and settled with, even if its never quite settled.. if you get my drift.

And I cant believe my package hasnt arrived yet :( Hope its not got lost :( It was sent over a week ago now. Will keep everything crossed for mr postie to deliver on Monday! x
artworkslive
Jul. 16th, 2005 11:05 pm (UTC)
yeah..
i'm just thinking it's an international thing..
sometimes it takes a little longer.
i'll let you know the millisecond it arrives in my hot little hands!!!
;D
artworkslive
Jul. 17th, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
I GOT YOUR ENTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!
i just checked my box this morn, so it must've arrived late yesterday!!!!!
i'm SO excited!!
your picture's adorable. it is kinda wild how you get just one picture, multiplied like a billion times.. what if the picture really stunk, then you'd be stuck with a billion stinky pictures! i'll pop in the tape prolly tonight, when i have some quiet time. thank you..this means so much to me, really..
loobiloo
Jul. 17th, 2005 08:10 pm (UTC)
Re: I GOT YOUR ENTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!
oh fab baby fab!! yeah i dont know why you cant get multiple photos anymore in these booths. You could have had 4 normal size pics or those teeny ones which I thought might be more fun!

cant wait to see the finished goodies too:) xx
artworkslive
Jul. 18th, 2005 02:16 am (UTC)
ARGHHHH!
i just tried to put your MiNi cassette in my tape player and it's TOO BiG!!!!! and we thought dvds would be difficult??!!!! is there a way you could mail your tape player to me (i'll pay for shipping and send it back to you) either that or you could send me a regular cassette sized tape with the same entry recited. oh!!! i'm so sorry this happened..i just had no idea. i figured that sort of thing was standard.

if you wind up sending another tape, go ahead and recite more than one entry if you want. i'll probably make 1 or 2 pieces per person..

lemme know what you plan to do and i'll go from there! thanks so MUCH!!!!!!!
loobiloo
Jul. 18th, 2005 11:36 am (UTC)
oh bleedin 'ell!! thats outrageous my dear! I dont have access to any other tape machine to send you a different tape. id be happy to send you the tape player (well, I have to ask my son as its his!) if you wanna pay for it! Unless theres some other answer? oh shit what a bummer :(
artworkslive
Jul. 18th, 2005 02:19 pm (UTC)
you could try to voicemail it in..
i'll email you right now!!!!
loobiloo
Jul. 18th, 2005 08:09 pm (UTC)
check your email woman!
artworkslive
Jul. 18th, 2005 08:46 pm (UTC)
eeeeeEEEP!
i JUST emailed you back..
i got the file, but i can barely hear your sweet voice!!!
burtonsmith
Jul. 16th, 2005 01:05 pm (UTC)
There was a really cool show on PBS about a year or so ago, I forget the name of it, but it was made by two guys who bought an old ambulance (on ebay, I think) and traveled the country buying junk at thrift stores and yard sales. They used secondhand video equipment that they had bought on the cheap, and they used old records they bought along the way as the music for the show. They tried to get the stories behind the stuff they bought. They focused on the social aspect of junk. The show may have been called "Secondhand America", I'm not sure. Anyway, at the end, they had a yardsale and sold all the stuff they had bought. They interviewed the people who bought the stuff.
They were hoping PBS would pick up the show as a series, but I guess it never happened.

Ah, I just looked it up...It's "Secondhand Stories". Here's a link about the show.
http://secondhandstories.com/index2.html
I really enjoyed the show. They should have made it a series.
artworkslive
Jul. 16th, 2005 07:04 pm (UTC)
oh my land..
i would've SO TiVOED this show!!!!!!!!!!!!!
dang nabbit. pbs brats..
rickysaccount
Jul. 16th, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
Aww, Dr. B, I feel like sending you a big virtual hug, my dear...
many people ask where the name baby smith comes from..
it was the name given to me by the state of nebraska before i was adopted.


That's so heart-wrenching... I've always meant to ask you about its origin and never knew why.

i want history. i want to be connected. i want to feel these people's stories by smelling the essence of perfume left behind and markings from everyday life.

Wow, that's such a powerful, introspective, and articulate expression... this post is almost the essence of art for me because it's so forcefully revelatory and insightful about you, the author, and also about me, the reader... I'll never think of "junk" the same way again...
artworkslive
Jul. 16th, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Aww, Dr. B, I feel like sending you a big virtual hug, my dear...
yup..
i guess the ol' doc is going through some self therapy, eh?
it's so weird how i've just been going through the motions..doing what i do and not really analyzing WHY i do what i do. i think a huge part of being an artist is having the ability (or trying to achieve the ability) to communicate on so many levels. explaining things to people so they don't go 'huh?' when they look at your art, but not revealing so much that it destroys whatever the ViEWER can bring to the story. you really hit the nail on the head when you said you learned about YOURSELF by reading MY post.

i think baby smith represents everyone. we all have insecurities. we all want someone to love us unconditionally. we all want a place to call home..

rickysaccount
Jul. 16th, 2005 07:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Aww, Dr. B, I feel like sending you a big virtual hug, my dear...
i think baby smith represents everyone. we all have insecurities. we all want someone to love us unconditionally. we all want a place to call home..

Ahh, you're so right about that... I definitely have those same feelings within me and that's why I think I respond so much to your art... and now, also your posts. You know, it's interesting, a lot of what you articulate about artists is what I associate with scientists... kinda cool how the circle closes in upon itself, eh? :) Ahh, hell, although it doesn't call for it per se, I think I'm gonna sneak in another hug! :o)
artworkslive
Jul. 16th, 2005 08:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Aww, Dr. B, I feel like sending you a big virtual hug, my dear...
hug fest!!!!!!!!!!!!!
you know, science always used to terrify me in school. i was always so afraid that i wouldn't understand it. i'm now realizing i just had really shitty teachers..
dr. R, maybe you should consult me in the science dept. to help pay for all those therapy sessions???????
;D
loobiloo
Jul. 16th, 2005 10:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Aww, Dr. B, I feel like sending you a big virtual hug, my dear...
(((GROUP HUGS ALL ROUND!)))
artworkslive
Jul. 16th, 2005 11:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Aww, Dr. B, I feel like sending you a big virtual hug, my dear...
feelin' the looooooooooooooove.
anybody wanna sing koom-bye-yah?
(Anonymous)
Jul. 17th, 2005 02:32 am (UTC)
Re: Aww, Dr. B, I feel like sending you a big virtual hug, my dear...
Ok, I want in on the hugfest, too. I have a hard time understanding the searching, in my mind you are, have been and always will be my best sister in the world. Growing up, I never thought about the fact that you were adopted. Maybe because I wanted a sister so bad and Mom and Dad could only produce boys-except me. (just a little aside-Gizmo is giving my legs a bath-feels weird) I want so badly to really understand what you feel. I can't imagine what life would be like without you as a sis.
artworkslive
Jul. 17th, 2005 08:07 am (UTC)
Re: Aww, Dr. B, I feel like sending you a big virtual hug, my dear...
you know..
i never really thought about it until now.
and how selfish of me..
but, i never realized you might have felt angst because you never had a 'biological' sister. i mean, am i hearing you correctly? i never thought of you as my 'adoptive' sister, but you were old enough when i came on the scene that you may have thought jipped because mom and dad couldn't make another little pammy. i was always lead to believe that i was kinda the 'gift for pam.' which never really bothered me..i just thought it was kinda cool that m&d would have it in their hearts to sacrifice for another hungry mouth in order to balance the family tree. weird. i think it would be a trip to have an all family therapy session, just to see where we all stand on a lot of things. there's such a disconnect, with all of us so spread out now.

but, all i now, is i'd feel a gaping hole without you there pammy. i idolized you then and i worship you now.

i think the hardest part of being adopted is the mystery. there's just so much that i'll never know, no matter how many stories vicki tells me. i'm connected to her only through blood and tissue. i don't feel any more connected to her ancestry than i do yours. and i'll never know rick's side (bio dad) partly because i don't care to get involved with a screw up. it gnaws at me that my only bio half sibling either doesn't know i exist or doesn't care to know me. (rick's son) i hate that. if i had a relation out there (he's an only child) i would at least be curious. it pains me that he may want nothing to do with me. i mean, what did i ever do to him? this is all speculation, mind you. but, i'm trying to explain why it's a distraction in my life. sometimes too much mystery is destructive..

i don't think about this stuff often. but, when i do it just makes my mind race, that's all. it's not like i'm upset..i'm just bewildered. which isn't all that bad of a state to be in, considering i'm an artist and my head is in the clouds half the time anyway.

i love you pammy. how lucky was it that i happened to be in the right place at the right time to balance the persons' sisterhood gap? to be in the company of such a cool chick like yourself, who had the hippest 70's clothes and the biggest stash of nail polish this side of anywhere. not to mention a smile that would melt my heart..the way your tongue always nestles right in between your front teeth and somehow says 'i love you becky, no matter what.'

i mean really. i lucked out..

(Anonymous)
Jul. 17th, 2005 12:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Aww, Dr. B, I feel like sending you a big virtual hug, my dear...
So did I sis, so did i.
loobiloo
Jul. 17th, 2005 08:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Aww, Dr. B, I feel like sending you a big virtual hug, my dear...
oh this is all so sweet and touching... someone pass me some kleenex please :'(


(and my sister is a real pain in the ass obsessive so its good to see you two so close, regardless of blood lines)

now get me those tissues please!!
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )