Ordinary Beauty

Garbage truck in autumn
Brian Hogan

WRITING PROMPT: Describe something ordinary in a way that captures its beauty.

One of the most ordinary things I can think of that is also generally not quickly linked to beauty is garbage. Specifically garbage trucks. And more specifically garbage day. And if I’m going to be down right particular about it, I’m talking about the entire Swiss watch of an apparatus called the local sanitation department that connects to the ganglion of other sanitation departments creating a national sanitation department brain that somehow, for all it’s handling of, management of and sorting of garbage single-handedly does a most pristine, fabulous, and nothing short of extraordinary job of keeping our streets, towns, cities, states and entire sprawling nation clean, and well, for the most part pretty dang beautiful.  

Garbage men with beautiful hearts doing a job that requires beautiful discipline to create the result of beautiful neighborhoods.  

This happens repeatedly. Systematically. Consistently. Without failure in a way so dependable and regular it takes on the hue of a sunrise. And indeed in most places on most mornings it happens before dawn or as the day dawns, a literal beauty truck secreting away our ugliness before the day breaks and we are forced to look at our waste and trash and gratuitous choices. But the sanitation system scrubs my conscience clean along with my streets. And I am grateful. 

Like Garbage Island in the pacific ocean, all of the trash in my brain has been localized in one spot, ready to be cleaned up, dissolved or hauled off when I’m ready.  Until then the sanitation department, looking at our grotesque societal underbelly week after week without judgement, without faltering, is a true, steady and unshakable thing of beauty indeed.  Don’t ever talk trash about your sanitation department. That’s a sure fire way to get yourself kicked to the curb.   

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About Brian

About Brian

Brian is a Writer, Clarity Coach, Filmmaker and Adjunct Professor who loves teaching and learning, and living in the uncertainty of it all.




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