The Winds of Change are Plentiful
I have a story to tell you,
On Sunday evening we decided to take our regular evening walk with the boys and dog down to a park and lake by our house. Our walk would be about a mile on a trail that is regularly used by runners, hikers and horseback riders. As we told our boys, plenty of opportunities to see snakes, coyotes and mountain lions. They were beyond excited. Ironically, the only creature we saw was an 10 year old black lab named Ebony. Her owner was a 81 year old man who had the same idea for a walk that we did.
With two kids, a dog and a backpack full of drinks, we walk slowly. So do 81 year old men. A storm was growing to the East of us and we started to talk to him about whether we should seek shelter or it would pass. We decided to hustle for a nearby shelter and along the way we shared stories of our families. Renzo Riddo is a world-renown restoration expert. He told us stories of the major pieces of art he had worked on. He hung upside down for 3 years in the Sistine Chapel to help with its restoration. During that time he watched no television and only ate what was Michelangelo would have eaten. This helped him understand why the artists chose the colors they did and why they made the brushstrokes they did. This type of work had given him the ability to translate a paint stroke and color into a mood or food choices. He could literally translate an artist’s surroundings, time of day and emotions based on the brush strokes they used.
Renzo talked about what it was like building a career in the arts. He talked about pursuing art for the passion of the art, not for its riches. He talked about keeping a simple life and avoiding drugs and alcohol to keep his mind clear and crisp and ready to create when the opportunity arose. He also talked about the discipline of saying no when he wasn’t feeling creative even when the pressure around him was great.
We shared with him our business about telling stories and he loved it. It was understanding the story of the art he worked with that allowed him to be successful in restoring it. He didn’t just see a color and reproduce it, or buy the same brush, he learned the intangible. He forced himself to live those intangibles to better understand them. He knew that feeling them was the only way to understand them. Feeling a story is the only way to understand it.
Building a business telling stories has pointed me in many directions of great stories. Yet, I still find the stories of those you happen to meet on a trail in an almost-thunderstorm to be the very best. Especially when they lead to learning more about the world, your neighbors and the pursuit of great art. The winds of change are plentiful, even if they are accompanied by thunder and lightning.
Here is to great stories,