Wednesday, July 2, 2008

ChocoTour 2008 - Day One

Not many people know this, but my undergraduate degree is in art history. I had this great plan that I would combine that with an MBA and be a corporate art consultant. I had interviews all over the country, but no one wanted to pay me much, and I was going to have to live someplace like Manhattan or LA. Minimum wage in Manhattan was of no interest to me (although one potential employer suggested I live with my grandparents in New Jersey and commute). Needless to say, I pursued another career path.

But my art history studies introduced me to art and architecture and long ago I joined the cult of Frank Lloyd Wright. (I also have a thing for the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of The Fountainhead, supposedly inspired by Wright.) If you like FLW, visiting Falling Water is a must. It's probably the most famous of his buildings. I never think it's possible, but Frank Lloyd always exceeds my expectations.

I really can't explain Falling Water to you - you've probably seen pictures. It's the home he built on a waterfall. The pictures look great, but being in the house - looking down on the water and HEARING it rush past - those are things you have to experience to truly appreciate. He even has a set of glass doors in the living room that open on a flight of stairs that lead right down to the river. It's so close and so unexpected - it takes your breath away. You can pretty much sit on the couch and fish. You have to see it to really understand how amazing and fantastic it is. And the fact that he built this in 1935 is just awe-inspiring. It still seems cutting edge. He was almost 70 - doing some of his best work. (See why I'm in the cult?)

Maybe architecture isn't your thing, maybe chocolate isn't your thing - that's not the point. The point is finding your thing. What do you find interesting? What fascinates you? Are you pursuing that interest? Or are you making excuses? I could have come up with a million excuses NOT to go to Falling Water. Gas is expensive; I have plenty of work to do; I don't have anyone to go with; wah, wah, wah. Some of the people on the tour couldn't believe I'd come all the way from North Carolina by myself. I said if I wait until I find someone to travel with, I might never go anywhere. And I've come to love solo travel - you go where you want when you want. People interact with you more. And I don't have to worry about someone else's good time. Not everyone wants to go on a two hour in-depth tour of Falling Water. But I'm not living someone else's life. I'm living mine. Who's life are you living?

There's so much world out there!!!! So many things to see and learn and do and taste! How much of it will you try? How much life are you willing to live? Carpe diem! Carpe vita!

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