Monday, March 4, 2013


I've been picking up things.

When I first discovered the world of scrapbooking and art journaling, I read a lot of art journaler's blogs with jealousy.  All those 'found' objects and ephemera looked so cool and interesting.  Every little thing with a story, a previous life.  I'm curious about everything, so the concept of found objects really set me off.  But I didn't have any of that stuff, and every time I went out the streets seemed barren to me.  Why were other people stumbling over crazy neat things all the freakin time and posting artsy Instagram pictures of it on their blogs and here I am with nothing at all.  Ugh. 

But then.

I don't know what happened.  I don't know what changed in me, but suddenly I realized I wasn't really looking.  It was like all this time I've been walking around with the proverbial veil over my eyes, and suddenly it was lifted and I could see things I've never seen before.  Where did all this awesome stuff come from?  Had it been there all along? 

There was a shift, I think, in myself, that caused me to pay more attention.  Be more aware of my surroundings - not just the usual stuff I looked at every day, but the little stuff too.

Here's some stuff I found recently.  The red thing is a broken Lego.

I have a pretty awesome day job that allows me a lot of freedom to wander out of the office pretty much on a whim.  And the city where I work is a dense little place with lots of pedestrian-friendly streets and alleys and old buildings and nooks and crannies (remember that english muffins commercial?!).

So, when I get a whim, I take off.  Out the door, down the stairs, out the rotating glass doors that scare the bejesus out of me for no good reason.

What I  love about this city?  There's always something new to discover.  Some architectural detail in an old building I hadn't noticed last week.  A new crack in the marble facade of the building on the corner.  A new sticker on the parking meter in front of the deli.  Up on the sixth floor of a parking garage, I look out and notice some stained glass windows in the building across the street.

I have no idea what this is.  Its plastic, and very flexible, like a mesh of little plastic squares.  It has a ring on one corner, like it may have been part of an earring? 

This has become a new habit: walking around and just paying attention to everything.

At first, I felt sort of strange whenever I picked something up.  Like everyone was watching me and snickering, so I tried to be quick about it.  I'd see something that looked interesting and I'd swipe it up off the ground and stuff it in my pocket like I was making a drug deal on a street corner.  Most times I wouldn't even know what I had until I remembered to take it out of my pocket later.  I still do that sometimes, just for the surprise of it.  But now I'm not so shy about scooping up whatever catches my eye.  I've even seen other people doing it.  I love it when that happens.  Like I've just inadvertently caught another member of Fight Club picking at a scab.

So, do you pick things up?

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