Lost Objects in Space and Time

I read Rob Walker’s newsletter The Art of Noticing. He returns often to lost objects. What lost objects have stayed with you over the years? Why do they matter?

But if I still possessed every object lost, I’d be living under a mountain of things, much like the Junk Lady in Labyrinth.

I’ve written about the importance of objects here and here. Like Rob Walker, I return to them again and again. Over on Patreon, I’m trying to write a sort-of memoir through the objects still in my possession. I call it The Inventory. But often those posts about items kept safe become about items lost.

Of course we lose things that can’t be photographed–friends, ideas, dreams. I’ve disconnected from twitter, so I’ve lost readers. I’ve dithered around in self-doubt and lost opportunities. And some things I’ve lost all memory of–things truly lost.

Usually every phrase we can think of about the word lost is negative, but if we say we lost track of time because we were reading or talking to a loved one, that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

What, however, do we find?

Our car keys, a good friend, our place in the world? Don’t we all wish we could find more time and more money?

If I had the room, I’d be one of those people making art from found objects. When I see random things tossed aside, forgotten, lost, I always think, “I could make something with that!” I love seeing people make things with lost and discarded objects. How delightful to look at these things and see potential, art.

I once showed a class a video about our local Cathedral of Junk. Some students are fascinated. Others are baffled, and when asked if they’d want to see it for themselves, they say no way. They frown. Someone says the cathedral’s creator is crazy. I dunno, but when someone has that determination to build a tech company, people applaud. Someone taking things that would otherwise sit in a landfill, and suddenly that determination is crazy.

It seems as if we’re sad about what we lose, but we’re bothered by other lost things.

Now I’m thinking about how many of us like shiny new things while landfills, you know, fill. Some are far more interested in shiny almost new humans than the lost souls on the streets.

Humans are strange and contradictory creatures. We’re all lost sometimes. May our potential be seen. May we be found.


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Things on Patreon

Cups of KO-FI

And Merch on RedBubble

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