It was in August of exactly three years ago, when I was in the middle of crossroads facing multi-disciplinary directions, none of which I knew if I had the strength and will to follow.
Fresh from the United States, at 25 years of age, with a year of college level architectural teaching in Thessaloniki and a few art commissions undergoing, I was on a (rather pathetic and unsuccessful) search for a “real world” architecture job, for which I wasn’t as crazy as personally required. Newly inspired by the idea of joining a “coaching school” to become a track guru; awaiting for the results of a phd application, which was pending for another three to four months; dwelling on the (long and arduous) interrupted journey of attaining a violin degree (in order to fulfill my deceased teacher’s wish of seeing me play in an orchestra – even from the bird’s eye perspective of heavenly settlement); juggling the possibility of an art-driven career (culturally opinionated as a financially poor option); battling with a two-year-old plus knee injury which had eventually led to a patella fracture and still recovering from it at the time – I was even considering the switch from the 400m track event to rowing, in hope of experiencing some more glorious athletic experiences, to justify (to the world? or me?) my genetically boosted muscular physique.
I kept thinking that something astounding, spectacularly suddenly and unexpectedly, was going to happen in my life in any moment, but my problem was not having a clear histrionic picture (or hint) of that something, because if I did, perhaps I’d have some chances of it happening. It felt like looking through a fuzzy window towards multi-directional blurry roads, but only admiring the likelihood of opening the window and finding me on a path – any path.
I always thought there are too many paths in life to choose from, and too many that I would wish to walk on. It’s a hauntingly psychopathic feeling. However, I have come to think that this path selection nonsense is only a pretense philosophy of today’s society trying to limit the human brain to solitary tasks, restricting potential evolution. What happened to the Michelangelo’s and Da Vinci’s? The world has gone b l u n t, and all the bluntfull beings are trying to drag down the rest, with nonsense rules that work only for the unimaginary, unskilled and lazy, when we should really be paddling towards variation and success; I still believe that the two together are possible, and I’m writing it down for me to absorb and remember, and for you to relate.
…So I booked tickets to Florence then, to refresh my mind for a week, alone.
And draw. Just draw… (well, and train). For some strange reason, it felt like the only right thing to do.
I played the tourist, the wandering artist, the thinking philosopher, the athlete.
I lived in a hostel, so I met a dozen of solitary and interesting backpackers travelling around Europe, while befriending a few.
Important lesson learned from a couple: “It’s OK to spend money that you don’t have” (well not always).
A number of them took out bank loans just to travel all around the globe, and they were enjoying every minute of it (although exhilarating to see, I would never find the courage – or mindlessness? – to do it).
Backpackers came, and backpackers left, sharing experiences, exchanging pictures, drawings and sketches.. many left home for weeks at a time, in order to “find their true selves”, and discover what they really wanted to do in life upon their returns home. Some had been to more than 30 cities before our encounter, with a couple left to go, and still searching for their answers. Maybe they would never have gotten their answers, but it was ok. I am sure they will find them hidden somewhere along the way, reaching back to transparent messages and life’s connections that tell beautiful long stories.. as long as they listen close enough, of course.
And all this surrounding uncertainty, certainly left me comforted with the fact that my life, at least then, even half way plus on the scale now, was and is in complete self-oblivion and unresolution. A state that perhaps we always want to be in.. offering ourselves daily painful enlightenment!
To conclude this post, of course, I am sharing some of my ‘florentine sketches’ of that more than inspiring week of cognitive wandering 🙂
“Blue David”, the final piece of this Renaissance Journey, was the pinnacle of my weekly exploration.