Only you can see it

Broken bicycles, old busted chains

Rusted handlebars, out in the rain.

Somebody must have an orphanage for

All these things that nobody wants anymore…

Tom Waits

The day following my return from our NYC reunion trip, I was signed up as a chaperone on the 5th grade field trip to the Fort Worth.  It was one of those scheduling snafus where you only look at the date of the event to see if you’re free, and neglect to look at the activity level of the day before.  But as those things often do, it turned out to be a gift in disguise.  Oaks and I made a Mama date of the drive to Fort Worth with a quick stop at the Starbucks in Sundance Square before arriving at the museum.

It was the perfect chance to catch up after being away for a week.

At the museum, my group of active boys enjoyed the planetarium, but were mostly interested in the “Grossology” area that was full of disgusting human excretions, strange smells, blood-sucking bugs and interesting body parts.  Surprisingly, I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing a bit of history during the D-Day Film in the IMAX theater.  But upon arrival in the Innovation Studios, there was something else that caught my eye.  Hanging above this space designed to “experiment, create and even bend the rules, while letting your spirit and imagination soar” was this odd, whimsical, and unexpected chandelier.

The notorious DreamTime installation.

Some of the kids might not have even noticed it. . . oh but I did.  What at first might appear to only be an enormous collection of junk, was actually a bright beacon of hope.  Created by sculptor Warren Muller, this monument of discarded items is more than 40 feet long, 8 feet wide in some places, weighs nearly half a ton, and includes tricycles, rusted metal lawn furniture, old metal toys, chandeliers and even the grille of a jeep.

It is full of life energy and boundless, colorful light. 

The idea began when Muller noticed an old broken tricycle in a trash bin and wondered what he could do with it.  What was once discarded as useless, he transformed into the source of inspiration for the perfect way to illuminate the minds of children visiting the Innovation Studios.  “He takes what most see as junk and finds its hidden potential, puts it into a new context no one had ever considered, and gives it a brand new identity.”

He transformed useless trash into a beautiful work of inspiration. 

It all started with how he processed what he saw in the trash bin that day.  Muller chose to see possibility.  He allowed his own childlike sense of wonder to guide him, instead of allowing his “adult” brain to rule the roost with reason.  One simple choice to notice and believe in what is possible, turned into a work of art that inspires children and adults alike to believe that even broken things can be made beautiful.

I don’t know what seems broken and useless in your life today, but I know this:

It can be made beautiful.

Don’t write it off.  Don’t give up.  Look at it in a new context.  Choose to open your eyes with wonder.

Look for the treasure that is hidden beneath what is merely obvious.  

Only you can see it.

We’re counting on you. 

to more love,


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