#7 – 2/25/23
GARRIT: What is something that collects or accumulates in your living space? Many times over, maybe? With collection and removal and then more accumulation?
GRACE: Um, I’d say that the thing that accumulates most in my living space is, um, carelessness. Because when I notice an accumulation of too many things, it’s usually things that I discarded or pushed into corners or are on the ground because I didn’t care enough to put them in the right place. And they can be kind of bizarre, mostly they’re kind of, like, bizarre, nonsensical ones, for example the lipstick assemblage* that Margaret did, and that was just on the ground for a while.
*Grace was trying to melt down old lipsticks with Margaret, and Margaret tied a string across the top of a saucepan with clothespins that held the open makeup containers above the pot so as to drain the excess material inside using gravity, with mixed results.
GARRIT: It was just sitting underneath the dining room table.
GRACE: Yeah, that’s the type of careless accumulation that occurs with me.
GARRIT: I can think of so many objects you’ve done this with…it makes me chuckle.
GRACE: See, that’s the, like, funny ones, but on that note I also create the haunted objects, when it’s not funny.
GARRIT: It stops being funny and you stop laughing.
GRACE: Yeah, that’s when I notice accumulation the most. Also, recently I’ve been accumulating things more intentionally, I guess. One thing that I’ve been wanting to say, and I’m thinking about this in terms of my thesis, is accumulation as being the passage of time. So the two things that I’m collecting right now are glass shards, glass and clay shards that I found with Joe at various locations. And then also I realized the other day, I guess I’ve been collecting this intentionally, but I have a lot of candle wax drippings, and I’ve taken them all and I’ve put them in this box, and right now I’m doing this sort of assemblage of all of my candle wax as being the physical manifestation of the passage of time, due to candles dripping in that way, showing time.
GARRIT: Yes, and the stage that the candle is burned down to is a representation of the time and the wax drippings are the byproduct of the passage of time.
GRACE: Right? Yeah. And also with the different shards I’ve been finding, I like to think about how old they may be, and then I’ll think about if they’re really old, and it’ll make me feel really really happy, to find the oldest thing. Thinking about how it’s persevered in this way, and then I’m finding it and I’m imbuing life and energy into it.
GARRIT: Yeah, you’re bringing it back into the present. Especially if it was buried.
GRACE: Today I spent two or three hours washing every shard of glass or thing that I found in my shower, washing all the dirt off. Some of them are cool because I haven’t been able to figure out the colors of them, like I thought that they were black but they’d actually be blue or green. And then also some of the ceramics that I washed off have patterns on them. And also the fact that I found them is because of the canal near the James River drying up, so even that in itself is—
GARRIT: Things that used to be at the bottom of the river.
GRACE: Yeah! This is why I had been wanting to talk about time travel too, that whole thing feels very much like a communication between three or four different types of time traveling all at once.
GARRIT: Yes. And also, I think this is a different part of the river than what you are talking about, but that one spot when you walk a little further down the standard Belle Isle path, and you walk across that big concrete structure, and then you go down the ladder and you end up at that part of the river that’s also dried up, and there’s an expanse of big, flat rocks. You and I have said this before about this place, that it’s prehistoric, like you’ve travelled back in time. That specific part of the river felt that way to me because it’s dry.
GARRIT: And I have a lot of association of the prehistoric, dinosaur era with dryness and desert biomes.
GRACE: Maybe it’s because the only evidence we have of dinosaurs is, like, fossilized dirt.
GARRIT: It’s kind of like the moisture, the water that gives their bodies life, has been sucked out.
GRACE: Yeah…I guess that’s why I feel like I’m resurrecting these things. From the death of dryness. So that’s my biggest accumulation right now. Oh, and then another accumulation I did that’s smaller is that I’ve been collecting specifically glass fragments of jars that have letters on them because I want to use the letters to try and figure out my fortune. And so I’ve been assembling, I’ve found…
GRACE: Yeah, I’ve been doing some divination, so I found these yesterday and I assembled them together and the only word that I could make is “theory.” And that’s it. I’m gonna try and re-assemble, but I feel like I’m trying to put magic into my accumulation, I think that’s important.
GARRIT: I think that brings us into the whole separate discussion of “The Limit,” why limitations are important and where that limit should lie. Maybe the divination you can do is based on the Limit of how many of them you can possibly collect at a time?
GRACE: Also the magic of not knowing. The Limit is really important though.
GARRIT: Maybe we can move onto another question I have…tell me about bad accumulation, or a type of accumulation you want to drain or get rid of. Either lately or an example from the past.
GRACE: One accumulation that I want to get rid of is the accumulation that is on my—hmm…well, it’s gone now, but before I cleaned my room there was this window next to my bed that had this little place you could put stuff, so I would just discard stuff there and it would end up being really gross. It would be, like, food, or crumbs, and hair, and all of this detritus, waste, like my droppings, in this area. And so that felt like very careless accumulation.
GARRIT: An accumulation of carelessness.
GRACE: Yeah, an accumulation of carelessness yet again. Also an accumulation that I had, I realized that I had too many clothes, and the majority of the clothes I had either didn’t fit me or weren’t me at all, they were like looking at other people. So that was something I had to get rid of a lot of and I still am. I’m also trying to accumulate clothes in a way that feels more in communication with things I already own. I think that when you intentionally accumulate you should think about how this new object is going to communicate with the other objects that you have.
GARRIT: Yeah, intentional. Intentional and……healthy.
GRACE: Yeah, healthy.
GARRIT: Um……what is something your body accumulates?
GARRIT: (laughs) Well, this could be physical, or it could also be figurative. Maybe energies that follow you, or spirits.
GARRIT: Or just, like, lint.
GRACE: Okay, so one thing my body has been accumulating lately is, because I have been trying out new hair recipes, right now my body is accumulating grease, on my head. (Laughing) And my hair is just a tiny bit greasy at any time. For those who are reading this, I’ve been using rice water to wash my hair, and then also in the shower I won’t shampoo it, I’ll only kind of clean my scalp with water because I’m trying to grow my hair really long and apparently shampoo is not good for that, it strips your hair of the oils and stuff. But when you are trying not to use shampoo, you have to get rid of the dependency your scalp has on it, because if you use it every other day your scalp will build up extra oil really fast to make up for the stripping of it. So because my hair is getting used to that it is constantly a little bit oily and greasy until I can get that together. Another thing my body accumulates is callouses, (laughing) on the bottoms of my feet and I can’t get rid of them.
GARRIT: That’s so interesting ‘cause I don’t have callouses at all. But I don’t think there’s any difference between where you and I put our bare feet.
GRACE: The only thing I can think of is that I was pretty barefoot during the summer…
GARRIT: That could be part of it. You were more barefoot than I was.
GRACE: Yeah, I like to be barefoot a lot.
GARRIT: Okay, my final question is; by the end of this year, do you hope to have increased in positive accumulations, or to have cut down on what is there and to have, like, shrunk?
GRACE: I think it’s always good to shrink, because then things don’t get stagnant and you can introduce new things and not feel too bad about it. And you can transfer things around. I think I want to downsize pretty much everything I have, that way I’m only around the things I actually appreciate and use. Recently I’ve noticed, in the leggings I wear under my pants in the winter, there’s two really long lines of tear on each leg from use, and it makes me feel really happy that I’ve used something so much that it’s like that. I’m just appreciating the well-worn-ness of things that I love and wanting to let go of things I’m not putting that energy into.
GARRIT: You’re shrinking and wanting to have less, but the things you do still have accumulate more richness in meaning and character that the higher quantity of things that were there before.
GRACE: Yes. I think my ending statement is that restriction is good, and placing and accumulating meaning is more important than the physical thing.
GARRIT: Well said.