I grew up in the midwest and every year my family drove back to upstate New York – when I look back that was a long haul.
This particular time I was around 9 ish. All my cousins and aunts and uncles were at my grandpa Nic’s house. So my younger cousin who was maybe around 5-7 and I decided to go for a walk around the block.
We held hands and made our way around the neighborhood. As it turns out we crossed a number of blocks and we ended up front of the neighborhood store Tammaro’s, and continued walk past the owners, because we thought we were on the right path.
They knew who we were so they called my uncle.
We did connect back with our families – I know you were worried 😉
I also remember our parents and aunts and uncles bricking about how this happened.
We just wanted to go for a little walk.
When I travel or hike I keep in the thought in the back of my mind that I have to have a willingness to get lost.
Even though have a plan and a map, sometimes, you make a wrong turn and are lost but then you have come across the amazing hole in the wall restaurant or see a family of deer on your path.
Be ok with being lost for a while.
It’s a way to practice living with uncertainty or ambiguity.
Many years ago, in a college art class, I made a charcoal drawing of a form with a black hooded cape looking into a mirror. Where the face would be, it’s solid black. Within a few years, that drawing was forgotten.
My mom died of metastasized breast cancer in 1992. A year or two later, I found myself using a black-hooded, caped figure in an art photograph. The series of images of the hooded figure is called Traveler’s Embrace , which looks similar to the drawing I had made many years before. Traveler’s Embrace is part of a larger body of work Inside the Belly of the Whale. 2
I still have the black hooded cape that I used in that photograph. I recently brought it out again. I had one last photo I wanted to make; one last image I needed to express. I laid the cape down among some fallen trees, so that it almost looked like a casket. And then, coincidentally, I found the old charcoal drawing I’d done in college.
The caped figure has always been with me, making its presence known in my art from time to time.
To me, the cape always seemed like a piece of clothing that a traveler would need. Using this cape had a way of making me feel prepared or maybe it was a bit of protection.
Now, I believe is the time to lay it down; It feels like laying down a burden.
I do so, in the hope that someone else will use it. I’m at a fork in the road on my journey, and where I’m going, I won’t need it.
I grew up on Linn St.
As a kid I thought I’d move to a big city. I’ve, in fact moved to a few states and cities over time. I eventually landed in a different state and city is bigger than the one I’m from.
Now, I live one block east of Linn St.
What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. T. S. Eliot
Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth, that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning; that there is always another dawn risen on mid-noon, and under every deep a lower deep opens. Ralph Waldo Emerson 1802-1882
(about the image above, it’s inspired by the practice enso. I approach it as a meditation)
— Bob Ross
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