Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Treasure Hunting

Are you one of those people who walk along a river with your head down, in the possibility of finding something strange, cool or interesting that has washed up? Do you scan the sandy beaches in search of shells or smooth stones? Well, if you are, then you're just my kind of person! Yes, I enjoy the views around me. I enjoy the sounds of the river or the waves crashing, but after about 20 minutes of absorbing the great outdoors, I start my treasure hunt! It's one of my greatest joys in life. I love to see what nature, or people, have left behind for me to find. And I've definitely found interesting things in various places! Well, I guess I should amend that I've found things that I'VE found interesting... not everyone thinks that an old pottery shard is interesting! Or old broken bits of bottles.... or dried leaf skeletons, acorns, etc... we're all not wired the same way, thank goodness!

Top tier of my shell collection
 I've picked up old fishing lures (you can see one on the left) and crab parts, urchin skeletons and seashells, rocks and feathers.... If it has an interesting look, texture, color, shape or possible history, then I'm about it! I know there are people who don't care for what they think of as junk, and that's great for the ones of us who think of it as treasure! I love that there are all different kinds of people in the world! Besides, I can't even count the number of times that one of these objects has made me happy for days... and it cost me nothing! (I've also been lucky enough to find money, when I was looking for shells or rocks... bonus!!)

My favorite places to look for treasure are pretty much anywhere that things wash up: river banks, beaches, even along trails where you'll find no end of cool natural treasures. A place that I've recently discovered (but a lot of you probably already know about) to find treasure is at yard sales and garage sales! I've been really lucky to find a coffee can full of old buttons for $1. Or a jar of marbles (one of my obsessions) for $.25! Seriously, that's almost as good as finding something out and about. Getting an awesome deal is ANOTHER way of finding treasure!

Found glass shards
 I think a big part of my joy in finding things is in repurposing them. Or reusing them, and having something with history embedded in it. I'm fascinated with personal stories and "what something went through" in terms of it's life here on this planet. Old is far more interesting than new, in my mind. I also like to let my imagination run wild with "what something used to be," or "who touched that," whatever it may be. And also, "what else can it be now?" Old objects take on a patina, a depth of hue, that newer objects often lack. There's a sort of magic to those items, don't you think? I also enjoy loving things that no one else cares about anymore. That's a trait that I've had since childhood! But whatever your reason for picking up old "junk," I salute you! Each of us is cleaning up the psyche of the planet and the human impact on it when we find joy in junk... we're improving the state of nature when we pick up discarded things, and we're also adding our joy to the world when we find something so fascinating, that would otherwise be crushed underfoot. So don't feel weird about letting your artist's soul express itself! I know people who can't pass up old bits of metal... or discarded lumber... they see the possibilities in those things that no one else can see, and they make them special again! I think that's an absolutely wonderful and amazing thing!!  

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