Found Objects, a Springtime Offering
Spring… Is not my favorite time of year. Yes, of course, I enjoy the lengthening days and (relatively) warmer weather, but spring will never be my favorite. The cold lingers too far into April, puddles, and mud are a constant threat while walking across campus, and classes always seem a bit harder than they did in the fall semester.
There is, however, one thing spring boasts in abundance that no other season can quite compare: found objects.
If you spot me walking to and from campus, chances are you’ll see me looking at the ground. I’m always avidly on the lookout for any intriguing, visually interesting, or uniquely engaging souvenirs to repurpose or take a photo of.
You can find these “found objects” all year round, but spring provides them in heaps. After the snow melts and the old fall leaves decompose, what’s left is whatever was dropped, tossed, or blown to the ground over the course of the past six months. There is, of course, a lot of garbage and litter (which is also great to pick up to throw away), but the things I am searching for are the items that you don’t expect to find.
When object hunting, I am always looking for things that make me think, “Huh, I wonder how that got here.” In some ways, I think I see these trinkets as little offerings from the universe. Maybe there’s a reason that you found that particular button, screw, or note– is it speaking to you? I observe the object and make inferences. Maybe this broken CD was once a token of love before things turned sour. Maybe this tiny plastic horse was once a favorite toy, toted everywhere until the fateful day its owner left it behind.
You may think this is all a lot of nonsense, and, really, it is. But isn’t life all the more worthwhile when you take the time to notice the little things and let your curiosity take the lead? If nothing else, at least object hunting can make a boring walk to class a little more interesting.
If you decide to give object hunting a try, remember never to pick up pointy, sharp, or rusted objects. Always wash what you take home, and don’t keep anything that may have an owner searching for it. I hope you find what you’re looking for– happy hunting!
Some objects I’ve found include: a keyboard’s backspace key, a single orange fabric leaf in a pile of dead leaves, a fluorescent blue CD, a kiwi, and a plastic toy horse.