Fragments of lovely, a beckoning of gorgeousness from the everyday, the tiny truths that would otherwise get lost or hidden inside and underneath the mundane.
Poetic Inspirations, by Brianna Colburn
|Love. Life. A Rough Attempt at a Field Guide...: (2010)
The Situationists, an art movement in Paris in the 1950s, used a word, “dérive” (in French, it means drift) to describe the art of getting lost, on purpose, in your own city, in your own life, if just for a little. To rediscover who you are in the world, to relearn what you love, and why.
This made us start thinking about maps. Maps. As if to have one would make everything better, would make everything understandable. Compasses may tell you what direction you are going in, but maps...do something different. They tell a story. They have back-information. Maps say "I am here," "I was here when..." Maps are a way of charting not just distance and location, but memory. Particular details. Things that matter. Things that matter enough to pass on.
It turns out that 'wayfinding' is actually a navigational term. It means exactly what it sounds like it would mean: orienting yourself in a place where you lack a compass, don't necessarily have the accurate longitude, and are, in effect, going to have to feel your way through wherever it is that you are. Sort of like love. Sort of like everything.
It seems appropriate that the first paved streets in medieval cities were paved over various footpaths. It seems even more appropriate when we learned that there's a term for footpaths – animal, human, what have you. They’re called desire lines.
The terms as actions: Desire lines. Psychogeography. Cartography. Drifting precisely so that you can find your way home. It's all related, or at least, it feels that way. Let's hear it for wayfinding. Let's get lost, and then found.
Paying attention (2008)
We have been thinking. A lot. A friend of ours gave us a term, "flâneur", which the 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire used to describe a specific sort of person – a person whose life, in a certain way, revolves around paying attention. The word is hard to translate into English – the verb it comes from in French means "to saunter, to stroll", but the walking wasn't the important part to Baudelaire – it was the noticing that happened along the way. Baudelaire compared it the job of a botanist – a flâneur is constantly paying attention to the tiny, as well as the large details, of life – as it happens.
There is something so important about paying attention – it sounds silly, it sounds obvious – but just being mindful of that action, of the importance of that action, at all times, changes the world for us, and you and everyone else in tiny, exquisite, luminous ways.
We want to celebrate noticing – not just nostalgia, or memory, but active, right now, noticing. We want to make markers for sharing – for the big moments, and the tiny ones. We want to help pass along all our beautiful details, our milestones, love, wonder, life...and mischief...but above all, hope. Hope comes out of paying attention. If we let it happen, if we let ourselves notice more often, extraordinary things can happen. May we all be so blessed