Sometimes I think we are here on earth to look for treasure: heart-warming emotions, relationships, or objects that speak to our true nature. Treasure doesn’t always have to sparkle, but it must spark(le) our interest.
Over the last few years, I have been on a treasure hunt at the Leslie Spit. Along its shores, where nature hasn’t yet grown overtop, you find the city’s old sidewalks, buildings, rebar, plumbing—all of it stripped down, reshaped, and washed by Lake Ontario. The result is friendlier, more rounded, industrial materials that people play with like a giant Zen garden / Lego pile, a landscape for meditation, discovery, imagination, and playfulness. Visitors build giant necklaces, fireplaces, and towers. Perhaps we can’t help but sort, stack, and build. At the start of the pandemic, when I was searching for existential meaning, I became obsessed with digging through the relics.
Searching for treasure is similar to asking the question: what is the point? We are always looking for meaning. As a very literal person, I applied this thinking to the Spit scraps: what is their purpose? Fascinated by their variety and beauty, I felt a desire to incorporate them into my life and make them functional (again). I have spent many hours beach-combing, making piles (and songs to remember where I put those piles), and surrounding myself with rocks, bricks, metal, wire, and glass, studying their potential use. As humans, we also want to feel treasured. What I was doing with these objects reflected what was going on internally for me. The Lake is a mirror.
From here, I present to you my own collection of Spit home objects. Through small modifications or pairing them with a counterpart that completes their imagined function, the objects are cast off, eroded by nature, given new meaning, and treasured once again.