Kicking the Can: A Collaboration

Effects by PhotoFunia-PBR

Ever play “kick the can” when you were a kid? You’d happen on an abandoned can and before you knew it you were three blocks past your house. Maybe you’d even get lucky and meet a friend or two on your journey.

One could travel around the world with a couple of friends and a can. And that is what we are doing here. Kicking the virtual can! To follow the can, I have to take you to the time BEFORE the can appeared. It started with a post on ephemera. My Life As Ephemera, actually. The game began with a contribution from Sharron. A mandala that she created from my ephemera shot. And a poem.

I thought, “How delightful! I must share this right away.” But a little voice (you know the one) said, “Wait. There’s more.” So I waited. That’s when the can appeared. Well, really, it was a comment made by Juliette on my second ephemera post, Shoe Boxes & Found Objects, with a link to HER blog where “Voila!” the can appeared.

So, I kicked it. And she kicked it back. Then we sent out a call to see if anyone else wanted to play. (That’s when I discovered The Messy Room has a back room … heheheh … one that I dare not post!)

So, here is the first kick from Sharron Cee in South Carolina:

Ephemera to Mandala Composite


A Mandala: Created from the shot I used in my post, My Life as Ephemera. According to Sharron:

“Mandala simply means circle. Creating mandalas is common in Native American, Buddhist (especially Tibetan), and other cultures. The Buddhist mandalas are particularly complex with each layer and color placement having a specific meaning. If you haven’t seen the sand mandalas made (and destroyed) by the monks of the Drepung Loseling monastery in Atlanta, it is a worthwhile event. They create beautiful mandalas from colored sand, then destroy them, and scatter the sand in a water place (lake, river, etc). The purpose is to demonstrate the impermanence of all conditioned things.”

Ephemera Mandala
Ephemera Mandala by Sharron Cee

And a Poem:

There once was a woman named Bernadette Rose
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
Bright cloth, ribbons, baubles in boxes she kept
Stored in the closet or beneath where she slept
And when she’d a mind to, she’d pull it all out
To play with arrangements and move stuff about
Until from her hands and from out her mind’s eye
Came some beautiful art as the hours flew by
She repurposed this and she repurposed that
(Jewelry, dried flowers, but never a cat)
Hours were spent in this creative pleasure
Repurposed stuff was born into a treasure

Oh there once was a woman named Bernadette Rose
And you’ll find art-filled beauty wherever she goes.

Then here is the second kick from Juliette in Atlanta, Georgia:

Pabst Blue Street Ephemera

“Bernadette, you can find interesting ephemera on the streets! Check out this collection of odd, artistic, far out street stuff on my blog … okay, well some are ephemera anyway!”

Click to see Juliette’s “can kicking” blog

Which led to another kick from me: And Juliette’s agreement to let me follow my muse with a post about her blog and the nature of inspiration.

“Inspiration is unpredictable. That’s what makes it so magical. When it strikes it has that first time freshness – like falling in love – that defies the dull, deadening impulses of …”

Click to read the rest of this post


Which lead to another kick from Sharron: Inspired by the skull shot she saw when she followed my link to Juliette’s blog.

Skull Mandala Creation Composite

Juliette's Skull Shot
“Skull in the Yard” by Juliette Mansour
Sharron's Mandala Art
Mandala Art by Sharron Cee

And another kick from J.m. Rivas in Michigan: Inspired by our interest in this photo’s possible story on Juliette’s blog. (All of us in the back room agreed this was song material … or perhaps a video …)

Insta-Matic Bed Base Shot Entitled "Lost Bed" by Juliette Mansour
“Lost Bed” by Juliette Mansour

A Story:

Reminiscent Ramblings from The INSTA-MATIC Bed Base

I’m older now.
The part we played.
My friends and I came and stayed.
Mattress friend, his box and bed.
Framed relations all shiny and new, snapping together,
holding so true.

Happy we were when the newlyweds came
and took us to home.

Those were the years of constant use
and giggles and laughter and shades of abuse.
Then came the children, Melissa and Roy,
who bounced on us often with glee and with joy.
And the presents at Christmas we hid for them all
under the bed where the dust balls would crawl.

Happy we were when the children came
and tested our strength by bouncing insane.

Soon the newlyweds that we had adored
seemed to grow older and often seemed bored.
Reading a book or using the phone,
watching TV and eating saltines
while we stood our vigilant duty.
Holding up lives from falling to floor.

Happy we were to provide all this service. Never we asked
for anything more

But alas, what we learned is time changes all.
The mattress got saggy, the frame bent to fall.
My brother base holders broke to the weight
and soon the floor claimed us.
We realized our fate.
Now, I stand here before you alone on this table
waiting for someone who’s willing and able to
find me a place,
find a new purpose.
Praying hopefully,
there’s life after service?

Happy I was to have lived in a home
where the laughter was plenty …

And yet another kick from Shellie Enteen in South Carolina:

Juliette's Pabst Blue Street Ephemera
Juliette’s Pabst Blue

Kicking the Can

The draft beers of Britain are round
and friendly, caramel colored and soft
on the tongue.

The dark robust Irish brew, Guinness,
surprisingly sour under creamy top,
filled with iron, good for women
on their moon.

The fizzy, tinny can the US settles for
offers no redemption, cuts into the buzz,
sharper still when left, half full, sitting
in the sun.

Do not return.

As I wrap up this post, I am DELIGHTED to witness and be part of this creative flow. The generosity of these muses who share their creativity so freely and spontaneously inspires me. And I hope it does you too!

© Copyright Reminder – All writing, artwork and photos remain the copyrights of their creators. If you are inspired to share or quote from this article please share The Messy Room with it. Together we grow!

So, if you like this then LIKE it and SHARE it with a kick!


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8 thoughts on “Kicking the Can: A Collaboration

  • March 3, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Don’t be shy. Even comments and smiley faces can count as kicks! And, if you want to play with a contributional-kick … contact me. The more the merrier. Just no profanity, please, this is a family neighborhood … sort of … 🙂

    • March 3, 2011 at 11:05 pm

      I shoulda known it would be just a matter of time… I’m starting to hear the melody for J.m.’s Reminiscent Ramblings from the instamatic Bed – base. 😀

      • March 4, 2011 at 9:43 am

        Oh Boy! I’ve been waiting for that, Michele. AND I got your email for “Random Pastings” … which will be in the next “Kick the Can” post … so we might see two “kicks” from you! 🙂

  • March 3, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Honored to be in such wonderfully creative company in this collaborative can kicking…

    • March 4, 2011 at 9:45 am

      The can just took a surprising direction … Ray might take you up on that dare. We’ll see?

  • March 4, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Great stuff y’all:-)

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