The business of life is the acquisition of memories; in the end that’s all there is.
The memories stirred this week for me were that of a little bookshop in Notting Hill, London.
Lutyens & Rubinstein is a dreamy little bookshop full of all kinds of delightful literary treasures.
Any bookstore who decorates their windows with cheery yellow is going to be a decent shop.
Inside they decorated with paper flowers made from books.
Even ol’ Agatha is looking retro-chic on her own little shelf of the store.
But I didn’t solve mysteries with the Queen of Crime, I chose instead a more modern English icon.
Banksy’s little portfolio of illegal street art action was chocked full of life lessons.
So true. The one quote that rang true for me this week was this:
I hadn’t taken initiative for a long time myself. Somehow I thought I needed permission to write books or paint or create an online business. Each time I rested on my laurels with my craft, I got laid off in my day job. It’s as if the universe said, “Oh I see that you’re being lazy about the craft. Hmmm. Let’s make you poor so you pull up your socks missy.” Both times I was laid off, boom. Book deal. The third book, the lovely PARIS LETTERS, was created during a time I didn’t qualify to work in France. Visa qualifications… or lack thereof, gave me plenty of time to pen the memoir.
And now here we are at the 500 Things Experiment.
Pushing myself to get 500 things up in my shop by December 1st stretches the noggin’. In quiet moments I think, Why didn’t I say 200 things? Or 300 even. 500? What?
But no matter.
Let us return to the bookstore of yellow books. Inside said bookstore I came across this piece of art:
This is a print by Hugo Guinness. I thought it was, well, beautiful. And it stuck with me. All through the next few years I thought about what word I would like to have on my walls. This thought has preoccupied me since walking into this shop in, I kid you not, April 2011. Four years later, I’m still thinking of words. And now that I have this self-imposed science experiment of The 500 Things in front of me, I finally know what to put on those walls.
That there is one sexy sign.
Somehow the 500 Things Experiment is my permission slip to get moving on the art that has been bouncing around in my head for years.
I put it on my note cards, too.
I kept going and made a Bonjour card and a Merci card, and for good measure and for all those shop people out there:
This exercise led to putting quotes from PARIS LETTERS on note cards. Heck. Why not? I can even autograph them. I’m the author. Try asking Fitzgerald to sign something for you. Fat chance.
If you’ve read the book, you’ll wonder why it took me so long to come up with that quote. Gawd!
Brought to us by the wonderful Popular Highlights tab in the Kindle app.
And because this may be the most sexy line I have ever written, I made this into a note card too.
Which also works well as a bedroom print:
So far, 185 items in the shop and full permission to go full steam ahead. Speaking of permission…
Oh Banksy. Well done.
I hereby give you, dear reader, permission to do that thing you want to do so well.