Ways to Find

I’ve already expressed how I’m prone to chasing tangents down rabbit holes to often find new rabbit holes along the way. I have a habit of looking one thing up on Wikipedia to then end up multiple tabs deep in discovery. Rabbits live in warrens after all, which are by nature interconnected pathways and structures.

The way my brain works, I started thinking about writing this and then went down a literal literary rabbit hole remembering Richard Adams’ post-war Lapine adventure novel Watership Down that I last read at around 8 or 9 years old. But that’s something for another day.

Puffin Books 601 - Richard Adams - Watership Down.jpeg

To know exactly where you are can cause an odd imbalance. There can be calm in knowing your location and how you got there but at the same time we can thrive on what not knowing — being lost — can give us.


As a teenager, I was often a passenger in my best friend Mark’s parent’s vast boat of a car — a Pontiac Parisienne. We would venture out on the roads around the small Ontario town where we both went to school and try our best to get lost. With just about nothing better to do we would whiz down rural routes and make random “left!” and “right!” choices at unmarked T-junctions.

Detail from Retrace Steps, 2022

Getting lost has a baseline set of fears but it can also prompt us to seek direction, purpose, alternative destinations.

In drawing, I find that as soon as I know where I am too well, there is a feeling of stasis. I want to be looking, searching, gleaning, and discovering pathways as I make.

I don’t really believe in singular North Star directions through life. We always have to be facing some direction or choosing at life’s various crossroads but one choice doesn’t negate other choices.


I have often self described as a Generalist and it’s something I admire in other people. Being a generalist is borne out of having a diversity of interests of course but to think of it more intentionally it is a recognition of the holistic entwined connections between people, things, and systems. To recognize that nothing truly stands alone, that everything and body is the product of a web of circumstances, choices, accidents, and disruptions.

The Beautiful Ones, 2023

Basically I come back to the phrase, you have to look to find. When photography was my primary art form,  I would engage in a kind of active looking while walking that was like paying attention to everything and nothing at the same time. And when my partner Gayla and I go thrift or junk shop browsing we are similarly looking intently but for nothing in particular most of the time. We have often been asked, “how do you find all of this stuff?” The answer to which is “we look”.


The same general type of looking and not looking, finding by getting lost, can happen in any creative act.