I write to you from Interstate 70, somewhere between Topeka, KS, and the Colorado state line. There are patches of wild sunflowers growing along the highway, and their bright yellow is really nice, truly a welcome sight, because it breaks up the flat views of corn and grass (and more corn). It’s hot and bright (just shy of 100 degrees Fahrenheit) and largely tree-less out here, and “Staring at the Sun” by Simple Kid is playing on the radio. Last night I left my sunglasses in the cup holder in the car (which we’re towing behind the RV), so I’m squinting. Though it may be September, summer seems far from over, here, in the middle of the country.
Since embracing the questions and the discovery, I’ve noticed that a lot of the work I’ve long admired just so happens to be curiosity-driven. Many of you wrote to me about Weekly Findings, Issue No. 1, expressing a similar enthusiasm for staying open to the results of seeking—in your work, writing, and life—so, I thought I’d share with you three of my favorite curious people:
S T E P H A N I E M A D E W E L L
Curator of the blog, Even Cleveland, Stephanie chronicles her weekly obsessions and curiosities in a matter-of-fact way—sharks, clouds, bees, tennis, rocks and minerals, you name it—posting visual evidence of her ongoing fall down the rabbit hole. Her exploration is continual and varied; sometimes it's music or fashion, and other times it's historical artifacts, obscure art, and scientific articles. This blog has been a huge inspiration for me for almost a decade now.
A N N W O O D
Ann's art takes many forms, the most popular being her animal sculptures made from fragments of Edwardian day dresses and antique Japanese garments. "So much of my inspiration comes from these things I did not choose," Ann writes. And, of a long-saved, now-wrinkled magazine clipping that's prompting her next project: It's "a daily reminder of the good and unexpected things that are just around the corner." Her yearlong sketchbook practice is the best thing to look through if you're feeling creatively stuck or tangled in the ropes of perfectionism. ("Wouldn't it be nice to spend a couple weeks just messing around with stuff you haven't tried?" she writes in the post for Week 22. Yes, Ann! YES.) I could pull inspiration from her all day long.
S O P H I E C A L L E
French writer, photographer, installation artist, and conceptual artist, Sophie's work was introduced to me in a documentary photography class in college. Immediately, I purchased Suite Vénitienne/Please Follow Me, and my love affair with her work began. (Just in writing this to you, I'm feeling pulled to reconnect with the magic of that book.) Do yourself a favor and take a voyeuristic journey through Sophie's work. Talk about someone who follows her curiosity!
Notes from the week of August 30
CAMPED AT KANSAS CITY EAST KOA
+ bats (at the baseball stadium)
+ lots of bunnies
+ a yellow python (draped around a man's neck in downtown Kansas City)
+ cattle, naturally
+ giant goldfish
+ Kansas City Royals baseball game (vs Detroit Tigers)
+ First Friday in the Crossroads Art District
+ Kansas City Workhouse (a boarded up castle with a wild history)
+ Loose Park Rose Gardens
+ Swope Park (the site of my very first home!)
MEALS PREPARED & EATEN
+ zucchini & sweet corn hash egg skillet
+ fried eggs & toast
+ orange-mango juice & prosecco
+ Italian roast
+ passion iced tea
+ pinot grigio
ATTRACTIONS BOOKMARKED FOR NEXT TIME
+ The Majestic Restaurant & Jazz Club (I really want to hear the Hermon Mehari Trio)
+ Leila's Hair Museum (allegedly features hair from the Virgin Mary)
+ The National Museum of Toys & Miniatures
+ Fantastic Caverns
+ Worlds of Fun & Oceans of Fun Amusement Park