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How To Be An Explorer

There is a warning on the back cover of this book–How To Be An Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum by Keri Smith.

“Warning: To whoever has just picked up this book: if you find that you are unable to use your imagination, you should put this book back immediately.  It is not for you.  In this book you will be repeatedly asked to…suspend your disbelief, complete tasks that make you feel a bit strange, look at the world in ways that make you think differently, conduct experiments on a regular basis, and see inanimate objects as alive.”

Inside the book, your task becomes clear: you are an explorer.  “Your mission is to document and observe the world around you as if you’ve never seen it before.  Take notes.  Collect things you find on your travels.  Document your findings.  Notice patterns.  Copy.  Trace.  Focus on one thing at a time.  Record what you are drawn to.”

I would have died for a book like this as a kid (it’s super kid-friendly!).  I would have tried every “exploration” in this book.  Do you remember Smith’s other fab book I recommended?

All that said, part of my t0-do list for Tuesday is to go to our local hardware store to pick up an assortment of paint chips…for THIS exercise.

World of Color

Collect paint chips from a paint or hardware store.  Find colors you respond to in the world.  Attempt to match them using the chips.  (You can also match the colors using a portable paint set.)  Make notes of where you saw the colors.

Alternate: Document colors from your favorite books, your dreams, your memories.

Like this, perhaps (photo credit: from the book How To Be An Explorer of the World by Keri Smith):

Here’s how I’m going to do it with little L.  We’ll go outside with our paint chips, to find things that are similar in color.  Then we’ll come back inside to make our collage–securing the paint chips next to the things that match them.  Maybe we’ll even have to put the items in a box (if they’re large).  I guess we’ll go with the flow.

But what a great way to observe…and to engage with nature.

(Sigh of happiness.)  And that’s only one exploration in the book.  There are a total of 59!  (Another sigh of happiness.)

[Post image: Partial of How To Be An Explorer of the World cover]

One Comment

  1. […] Wreck This App.  Smith is the author of How to Be an Explorer of the World, which I talked about here, and Living Out Loud, which I talked about here.  They’re all MUSTS for anyone who wants to […]

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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