The Storied Scrolls 📜 #5

Roots and Green Shoots

What I’ve published

“Roots and Green Shoots” is the latest Nomad Life chapter. It covers the month I spent living in the American South and explores a modern interpretation of what it means to put down roots.

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Where I’ve found inspiration

I’m living in New York City right now and have enjoyed easy access to incredible art collections. I purchased a membership at The Met since I’m only ~10 minute walk away and try to go 1-2x per week during my lunch break.

Most of the visual art I’ve seen has been single-scene snapshots—paintings, tapestries, photographs, sculptures, etc. It amazes me that these artists were able to tell a story with just one scene. For them to do this well, they painted every grain of the canvas with intention. There was no wasted space, yet they did not include anything that wasn’t essential.

I think this same concept applies to good writing. The stories that I find engaging waste no words—they tell you everything you need to know and not a word more.

I’m doing my best to translate this discipline to my own writing, both at the bird’s eye plot level and the individual sentence level.

What’s challenged me

Shelby and I have spent a lot of time the past few weeks booking our European grand tour. We were originally supposed to sell our condo and embark in March 2020, but we all know what happened to that plan…

We have officially purchased airline tickets for September 20th to fly from D.C. to Frankfurt and have all of our accommodation through the end of the year booked! Go here to see our itinerary.

The time and emotional toll from making so many decisions has been exhausting for Shelby and I. And now on top of the stress of getting Skutull across the ocean safely, we have the delta covid variant to grapple with. We’re crossing our fingers Europe doesn’t close their borders again.

Story I’ve been enjoying

Exhalation by Ted Chiang. It’s a collection of mind-bending, sci-fi short stories. The movie Arrival was based on one of the short stories Chiang published in his previous book, Stories of Your Life and Others.

What I’ve been up to

I’ve visited The Met half a dozen times and MoMA once, but my favorite art museum so far was The Cloisters.

The Cloisters is located nearly an hour uptown of The Met. I was told by somebody in Central Park that Rockefeller constructed the building to look like a French monastery so that it would be in harmony with the medieval art he would one day fill it with. The museum is located on top of a large hill and he even purchased all the land across the river to the west so that the view would never be adulterated by buildings.

Here’s some of my favorite art from The Cloisters:

Unicorn horn was thought to remove poison, so chalices like this would have been highly sought after and expensive. As you’d expect, the cup isn’t actually made from unicorn horn, but instead from a narwal tooth. Whoever was catching narwal and selling the teeth as unicorn horns had quite the scam going.
This wood carving was so intricate, a picture will never do it justice. The artifact was a little larger than the diameter of a silver dollar.

Enjoy the journey,