The Traveler

“A dominent impulse on encountering beauty is to wish to hold on to it, to possess it and give it weight in one’s life.  There is an urge to say, ‘I was here, I saw this and it mattered to me.’  But beauty is fugitive, being frequently found in places to which we may never return or else resulting from rare conjunctions of season, light and weather.  How then to possess it…?…There [is] only one way to possess beauty properly, and that [is] by understanding it, by making oneself conscious of the factors (psychological and visual) responsible for it…the most effective means of pursuing this conscious understanding [is] by attempting to describe beautiful places through art, by writing about or drawing them, irrespective of whether one happen[s] to have any talent for doing so.”

Mumma painting on her honeymoon, a garden somewhere in Europe, 1937

The quoted passage is an excerpt from Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel.   Aaaaaahhhh, Alain, you always know just what to say.  I’m looking forward to delving into his other well known book, The Architecture of Happiness, while traveling next week.  It’s the-book-is-done-and-its-my-birthday vacation time and my art supplies are already packed!  More on that later…

3 thoughts on “The Traveler

  1. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photograph. Finding a copy of de Botton to curl up at home with sounds like the perfect adventure for this snowy New England day!

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