The Greatest Creative Challenge

Saturday, we made a short-notice pilgrimage to Oakland, our destination the Eames exhibit at the Oakland Museum of Art. While full of chairs, plywood and period-specific photography, the exhibit held hermetically how Charles and Ray collaborated except to say they built an entire studio in which to work.

In addition to great food and beer at Drake’s Dealership (pizza) and Lost & Found (plaintains), we also intentionally sought out The Long Weekend shop. Curated, and I do mean curated, by Courtney Cerruti, artist, traveler and teacher at Creative Bug (online) in San Francisco, the one-room store was filled with unique delights. Sennelier watercolor sets for travel, inks made from plants, a mending book nook and an old-fashioned library cart were a few of the highlights.

In the back, a very small gallery held 100 micro-paintings that evoked a unique sense of place traveled to. It turns out that Courtney has a things for explorers and their carnet de voyage. I resonated because I was raised on a farm with Lewis & Clark, Daniel Boone and Davy Crocket as well as Star Trek and Gilligan’s Island as my exploring adventure heroes. I explored and mapped my environs, creeks, pasture and road, my conquests moths, butterflies and plants.

In the Long Weekend store I found Explorer’s Sketchbooks: The Art of Discover and Adventure. Novelist Wade Davis wrote the introduction to the chapter entitled Making Your Mark. Davis’ brief two-page essay touched me while in the midst of the creative challenge to architect my life to yield a state of illumination that is being alive as a vocation. Here are a few of the quotes that I thought you might also enjoy.

Travel

“I would later come to understand travel not as scientific inquiry, but rather as pilgrimage, with each step taking one closer to the goal, which was not a place but a state of mind, not a destination but a path of illumination and liberation that is the ultimate quest of the pilgrim.”

Wade Davis, “Making Your Mark”, Explorers’ Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery and Adventure, Huy Lewis-Jones and Kari Herbert, 2016.

Life and Work

“Life is neither linear nor predictable. A career is not something that you put on like a coat. It is something that grows organically around you, step-by-step, choice-by-choice, and experience-by-experience. Everything adds up.”

Wade Davis, “Making Your Mark”, Explorers’ Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery and Adventure, Huy Lewis-Jones and Kari Herbert, 2016.

“The work you do is just a lens through which to view and experience the world, and only for a time. The goal is to make living itself, the act of being alive, one’s vocation, knowing full well that nothing ultimately can be planned or anticipated, no blueprint found to predict the outcome of something as complex as a human life.”

Wade Davis, “Making Your Mark”, Explorers’ Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery and Adventure, Huy Lewis-Jones and Kari Herbert, 2016.

The Greatest Creative Challenge

“The greatest creative challenge is the struggle to be the architect of your own life.”

Wade Davis, “Making Your Mark”, Explorers’ Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery and Adventure, Huy Lewis-Jones and Kari Herbert, 2016.

I am encouraged to re-cast my journals from journal to carnet de voyage, a part of the process of architecting my own life. This re-imagining or vujade trying as hard as possible as if I’d never seen a journal imbues them with tremendous value because they lend insights to the milestones and in between of the journey. I am excited to see what difference this makes.

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