“You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should…”
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata 1927
You know that bubbling feeling that comes when, after reading a great quote, you think to yourself “that captures perfectly how I feel, and in much nicer English!”?
The above excerpt from Max Ehrmann’s 1927 poem is one of my “I wish I had have said that”s.
It’s Easter Friday and I am enjoying a rare break from the busyness that is taking your vision to the world. I find at times like this, when my mind is quiet and there are less things to do, I long to create. In recent months this has meant time in front of my sewing machine, surrounded by bits of leather, all types of thread and an old Stanley knife that I still have from High School 20 years ago.
As I move through the hats that one must wear in order to start a brand (with a staff of 1 – me), this morning I started to think about what is really behind Afternoons with Albert (aka “AWA”) – I asked myself if I was the brand, why am I here? What is my soul’s intention for this life?
I am 37 as I write this. I am yet to experience the gift of children, though I know it won’t be too far away (OK Mum, Dad and Sis?!). My work as a pilot has taken me around the globe too many times to count. I’ve had a thousand adventures in a thousand cities, some planned, most unplanned, met strangers and shared a laugh, a tear, and more or less equal amounts of wine and coffee. Sleep has not been high on the agenda.
I am fascinated by people’s ‘everyday’.
Unwittingly I guess I have, over the last 10 years from flying internationally, conducted an unconscious study of people and the everyday that surrounds them. This has been as much to sink into the place that i’m in before it’s time to leave (I suffer from massive FOMO), as much as it’s been to educate myself about how different people deal with the ebbs and flows of life. Adventure does not make one immune from having a bad day.
When I get confused by life I often look to nature to gain perspective. In nature things are never stagnant – they are always growing, or dying. The realization of this got me thinking – if we as humans are part of nature, then does this hold true for us? In not such literal terms, I believe it does. As hard as it has been throughout my life to date, those times when I pushed myself (or been pushed) to move forward, to expand, to grow, I’ve always felt better afterwards (measured sometimes in seconds, and other times in years).
I’ve found travelling to provide the single most immediate and authentic way to experience life. “The only source of knowledge is experience” – Einstein said that, so I’m more than happy to take my cues from him.
I believe when you interact with products in your everyday, any effort you must exert to work out how to use them takes you away from the present moment. This robs you of the energy to find possibility, to be curious and to find adventure … to experience.
AWA makes things that, through authenticity, attention to detail, choice architecture and real world experimentation, allow you to get the most out of where you are by being as present as you can be in the moment.
So as I sign off, it’s with great pride that I give you my Vision for Afternoons with Albert:
"To enable the world to get lost in the adventure of the present moment"