Week 12 – Art Experience – Geocaching

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This week I had a very interesting art experience that I had very mixed feelings about. While I found the creation of my own geocache to be so much fun, I found finding someone else’s geocache to be extremely frustrating. The latter was the first part of this week’s art experience. Initially, I was excited at the prospect of finding trinkets placed by someone else nearby. Using the app, I found a geocache near my house, at a cemetery. I went to the cemetery and tried to use the app’s tracking compass to find the geocache. The information about the geocache indicated it was in a tree. I tracked my way to a group of trees and searched them for a long while. I could not find the geocache. I tried to follow the app’s compass to find it, but after awhile I realized that the compass was changing erratically, going from 5 ft to 18 ft within seconds. Thus, I had to leave without having found the geocache. I decided to try again at another location. The app indicated that there was another geocache nearby, at a shopping center. I went to the shopping center and again used the app’s compass to try to find the geocache. Again, the compass started changing erratically and not making sense. I searched the area for a little while, but decided to leave, as I was in a less safe part of my city. At this point, I was very disappointed and quite frustrated at not begin able to find any geocaches, as I had utilized the tracking app and spent a lot of time searching for them. Finally, while running an errand at the Westminster Mall, I noticed that there was a geocache nearby, near the front entrance. I decided to try once again to find a geocache in this location. However, once again, after circling the area and looking high and low multiple times, I just could not find it. Needless to say, I feel pretty frustrated with the app and with myself for not being able to find one geocache, even after visiting three locations! However, this experience was definitely not all negative. I so very much enjoyed making my own geocache. I used an Altoids tin for my container, and I searched my drawers for trinkets to put in it. I wanted my box to be delicate, and convey themes of nature and beauty. My geocache’s contents include a plastic frog, a ring, a plastic flower, a broken ceramic butterfly wing, a light bright, a magnet, and a quote I cut out from a card that compares life’s beauty to a hummingbird. I also included a log book, a marker, and stickers. I really love the random little trinkets in my geocache because I feel that they have wonderful simplistic beauty. I love that most of the contents are toys that serve as symbolic of life, especially the little frog, the plastic flower, the ceramic butterfly wing, and the light bright, which to me symbolizes sunlight. I feel that the quote I included wraps up and conveys this message beautifully. I placed my geocache at the cemetery where I looked for the first geocache. I feel that this was a perfect, peaceful place to put my own box of little reminders of how precious life is. Maybe someone will find it when they are visiting their loved ones and feel happiness at holding a little box of life. In this way, I now think about maps differently. Maps show us where places are geographically, but they don’t reveal the same information that things like geocaches do – things like emotions, and memories conveyed in their little trinkets.

The coordinates of my geocache are N 33° 45.010′ and W 117° 59.495′.

Although I have never seen any Harry Potter films, I am familiar with the concept of “muggles”, and I definitely think it is an appropriate term for people who are unaware of all the geocaches around them. People who are unaware of all the magical little trinkets hidden around them really are, in a sense, unaware of the magic that surrounds them. In fact, I think this concept applies to much of life. I think there is magic we are all aware of, and unaware of. I think we are all apart of certain aspects of life’s magic, and we are all ‘muggles’ to other aspects of it. Magic I may be aware of, others may be unaware of. Magic others are aware of, I may be oblivious to. We definitely can’t map our feelings and emotions connected to places. This keeps much of the magic that goes with those places hidden. I have to say I am happy that much of life’s magic is hidden. I am very much in love with the prospect of keeping some magic to myself, and seeking other magic out in my life. I think the seeking of magic in our everyday lives keeps life exciting and precious.

 

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