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David Wang, Artist, Painter

My name is David and I make worlds.

 

In 2019, I took a solo bike packing trip starting from Chicago to Niagara Falls. The 23-day round trick took me along the Michigan coastline to Ludington, then east to Evart, down to Flint then Ann Arbor, then Toledo, Ohio, and along the coast of Lake Erie to Buffalo, NY. Between dozens of popped tires, swarms of mosquitoes in humid summer forests, unpredictable thunderstorms, and flooded trails, almost nothing went as initially planned. Niagara Falls itself wasn't particularly spectacular: the overwhelming crowds and superfluous gift shops muffled any majesty the Falls possess. 

What I do remember about this trip is the mother deer and her child examining a flower in the middle of a lonely trail a dozen miles south of Saginaw, Michigan. I remember watching the sunset in Evart, Michigan with a stranger who was parasailing far above me. I remember a pair of horses gently trotting to the edge of the road like a curious old rural couple who have just seen something miraculous as a I biked past a farm. I remember endless row of grape vines to my right and Lake Erie crashing onto rocky shores on my left as I made my way through northern Ohio. I remember sheltering from a majestic thunderstorm in an abandoned garage in Pennsylvania. I remember racing a tornado near the corn fields outside Kokomo, Indiana. I remember having the best chicken wings in the world in a run-down shack with what seemed like grease leaking at its foundation in the east side of Toledo where the rough sidewalks were...not friendly to bike-riders.

As children, we approach discovery with excitement. But exploration has its consequences. Failure and pain are part of that process, and as we age, we may begin to view with fear what once excited us. We may even come to fear what SHOULD excite us, whether that is new experiences, new opportunities, and tragically, new and different people. 

Success world building restores wonder in the discovery of the new to those who have lost it. That is my purpose.

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