Dan Eldon has impacted countless people through his life as an activist, adventurer and artist. His passion, drive, spirit and sense of wonder are deeply compelling and thoroughly inspiring. It seems like he filled every second of his 22 years of life with the type of meaningful endeavors that many of us desire to have but relatively few will actually experience. Though nearly 21 years have passed since his death, his story has only grown in strength and influence. And his is a story that needs to be told and retold.
It has been many years since I first came across Dan and his visual journals which Hugh Milstein describes as “visual bread crumbs that allow…others to follow in his steps – retracing his innermost memories, dreams and life events.” Dan’s willingness and ability to lay bare his soul on the pages of his journals had a profound effect on me as an artist and journaler. That he was able to share his life in such a raw and real way opened up to me a new way of thinking about art and expression. When I had the opportunity to see his journals in person in 2008 at a traveling exhibition in NYC, I felt his presence on the pages. It seemed like I was a witness to a true visionary and pioneer. It is an experience I will always remember.
There are so many valuable lessons to be taken from the life – and death – of Dan. His story has a way of gripping those who hear it and then never letting go. I have spoken with many other people who have my same urge to pass on his story, as if passing on a piece of history. That need to share is what is behind “The Journey is the Destination” online collaboration.
Beginning today, and continuing on the blog every Thursday, we will be posting the personal stories of many individuals who have come across Dan Eldon and been changed as a result. Many people have turned to visual journaling in response to seeing his journals and images of their pages will be shown. Every story that has been submitted is unique and yet at the same time, there seems to be a common thread that weaves through each one: the profound effect that Dan has had on their spirit.
If this is something that resonates with you, we want to hear your story as well. Share your thoughts, your experiences, and/or your journal pages on the blog so that we can create an online compendium and further Dan’s legacy. Submissions and questions can be sent to shap97@gmail.
Looking forward to seeing you again next Thursday when the story continues.
– Seth Apter