Editor’s Letter: To All Ye Pilgrims

Our Creative and Operations Director, Amanda Brinkman, kicks off a summertime series on journeys, big and small.

“The boat is safer anchored at the port; but that’s not the aim of boats.”
—Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

For the first time, everyone at Pelican Bomb took a mandatory vacation. Five days where everyone was instructed not to come to the office and not to check a single email. We drafted an away message, expressing how sorry we were to miss your communication, but we weren’t at all sorry. We. Were. On. Vacation. We were removing ourselves from our day-to-day lives to experience something calming, or maybe cathartic, perhaps educational, hopefully a little sexy (let’s be honest here), with the hopes that we would return somehow changed. Maybe that change would manifest as a relaxed cool, able to tackle future work projects with grace and ease. Or maybe the change would come through seeing a new place, meeting new people, eating new foods and would strengthen our relationships. Or maybe we would just sleep in, five days in a row. We were hitting the road because it’s summertime, and there was a beach (or museum, or forest, or secluded lake) calling our names.

Another first for Pelican Bomb this summer was bringing you all thematic content during our “(De)Tangled” series. We invited the public to participate in a collective performance about hair (see some images here), commissioned a hirsute work for our Community Supported Art program, and one of our hair-themed essays ended up in Newsweek. For the remainder of July and into August, we’ll take our own summer callings as a starting point for the Art Review and explore being on the road and the idea of the personal pilgrimage. We’ve again rounded up some of our tried-and-true contributors and invited a few new collaborators we think you’ll love to share everything from a newlywed trek on the Appalachian Trail to a spiritual journey with Britney Spears. We’ll focus on the truly life-changing, as well as those lesser trips that nevertheless provide a much-needed tweak in perspective. I’m especially excited to help organize our digital content on this theme, as pilgrimage has been a part of my life since birth. I was born in a small village in the Black Forest that is home to Jesus’ sandals and attracts thousands of pilgrims each year. Twenty-five years later, I spent my time in graduate school studying American pilgrimages, which took me to Forks, Washington, where I researched, documented, and hung out with hundreds of Twilight fans who gather there from all over the world to escape their everyday lives, immerse themselves in a fantasy, and commune with fellow vampire lovers.

Of course, we also want to know all about your summertime journeys and pilgrimages. Are you going to see Spiral Jetty, travel to Graceland, or seek out something else steeped in the visual culture of transformation? Tag us in your photos with #PBsummer so we can envy your badass break from reality and start planning our next journey.