My favorite writer is David Foster Wallace. When he killed himself in 2008, I was on LA’s 10 Freeway near the Museum of Tolerance, listening to NPR. DFW gave a commencement speech at Kenyon College in 2005 that’s been popularized — a sort of commencement TED Talk — and he started that speech with a joke. Two fish are swimming along, and an older fish swims by and asks, “Morning boys, how’s the water?” And the two fish look at each other and say, “What the hell is water?” He goes on to articulate a “truth with a whole lot of rhetorical bullshit pared away.” And the truth is that we are not to swim against the current, or to pursue action without consciousness. The good life is about finding awareness; repeatedly discovering that “This is water, this is water.”
Modern bohemian style was birthed in the revolutionary movements of the hippies, feminists and Beats of the post-WWII era. And, to pull it off today, it’s perhaps best to heed the water joke more than any pithy epigrams on tides or currents. In a fast-twitch mental environment, find the water first, then figure out where you want to swim.
Dries Van Noten Leather Trimmed Holdall
This cotton-canvas bag is dyed a contrasting midnight-blue and brick. And — hate to say this since we’re talking on a digital medium here, but it does look better in person than in photos. The dyes are tasteful and subdued (despite the color contrast), and the bag is fairly compact. The size and the big shoulder handles make this more of a messenger-with-holdall-looks than a full-blown weekender, so consider packing both this and the backpack below for a weekend away.
RRL Riley Washed Leather Backpack
This is a $995 backpack. Okay. Breathe. Now, what is so special about this $995 backpack? Well, it is made from sky-blue washed leather, to resemble denim while retaining the durability of leather. For hardware, you have burnished-brass, adding to the rustic-luxe vibes. And, it unflappably cool — like a vagabond freighthoppers pack, designed by the vintage cool crew at RRL. A vagabond-looking pack, for only $995? Not for everyone; perfect for someone.