If you’re twenty and trying to figure out what to do with your life, please, go travel. If you’re 35, uninspired and wasting your days sitting in a desk somewhere, please, go travel. If you’re 62, accomplished, going on walks every day with your seven year old german shepherd and are wondering what more is left, please, go travel.
There are beaches to roam and forests to hike and carnivals to samba.
And oh my gosh there is art to be discovered.
Gorgeous, mind blowing, impossible art that will unstitch you in ways that only goosebumps can describe. You will look up and feel a tingling inside you, convinced that the human potential is an unmeasured mystery. And you will wonder, hope, aspire that you too can maybe one day create something just for beauty’s sake. Not because it will bring you wealth, praise or status. But because there is just no other choice.
My recent visit to the Louvre rocked me to the core. I’ve been there several times in the past decade, but this trip was different. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen more of the world. Maybe it’s because I know more of history, politics, the true costs of time and sacrifice. Whatever it was, this visit left me feeling changed. A part of me is still there, roaming the 400,000 square foot limestone palace, fingers grazing stone, eyes wide, mouth ajar in awe. History is literally alive in the Louvre. Not only of empires, kings and gods, but of art. Real art. Art built with hands, bodies, instinct. Sensual and raw.
The Winged Victory of Samothrace is an astonishing work of anonymous genius. It was created in 190 BC (over two thousand years ago) by an unknown artist to celebrate a naval victory for Rhodes. She is Nike, the Greek goddess of victory and she has just landed at the perch of an ancient ship, saluting her navy.
She is breathtaking. Her size (!!). She is marble (!!!). Her robes are wet, blowing in the wind. She is landing like a bird finishing flight, in motion and in stillness, her gaze out at sea. Look at her navel, her hips, her breasts. The angle of her shoulders ajar.
There is so much more that I want to know. Who sculpted her? What of her hair? How did she look perched on a hill where she was originally found? The mystery of her lost head unravels me.
She is haunting.
This is why I travel.