"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." — Oliver Wendall Holmes
A constant swarm of bees and flies found us in South Dakota and Wyoming, feeding off the insect carcasses plastered to the front of the car. It made me miss the concrete urban oasis of Chicago, where we had been a few days before.
I wasn't really looking forward to this part of the cross country trip—I am terrified of bears and I hate outdoor toilets. But after a couple of hundred miles of driving and a speeding ticket from an exceedingly pleasant state trooper, I awoke from a nap to get my first glimpse of the Grand Tetons. Whoa...I wasn't prepared. Really, it's tough to describe their majestic beauty. And it's easy to see why so many people have it on their bucket list.
Before hitting Jackson Hole we took a 30 mile diversion on a deserted road in search of an elusive petroglyph site, which we never found. And you know what, I didn't care; it was still fun. I've spent a lifetime taking the road less traveled—sometimes accidentally but usually because that's just me. It is one of my strengths and possibly one of my weaknesses. In either case it's a characteristic that definitely carries over into my work.
If there is a message I want to send through art it is to remind people to look up (increasingly rare in our smart phone-dominated lives) and see the world around them. Explore, dare to step out of your comfort zone and see familiar things in a new way. If you are lucky the road less traveled will take you to a bug-infested, dusty dirt road deep in Wyoming where there's no hope of phone reception, and well, you won't care one bit.