Africa Journal/Sketchbook entry; 7/25/2012
"Once again I have found another instance of serendipity while planning for my Africa trip -- A trip that almost didn't happen...”
While planning and preparing for my Africa trip I have had several incidents of serendipity which led me today to looking up the word and also its origin. Serendipity means: An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident; good fortune; luck.” There have been many incidents that have happened that led me to believe that I would not be going, in fact for about 3 weeks I had officially made the decision that I wasn't going. Thankfully I have had several moments of serendipity that have turned everything around.
Serendipity simply means “happy accident” and was first noted by Horace Walpole (1717-1797) who said he formed the word from the Persian Fairy tale “The Three Princes of Serendip” The Princes of Serendip is the English version of an Italian version by Michele Tramezzino (1557) who heard the story from a Christophero Armeno who apparently translated it from the Persian Fairy Tale.
The English version of the Persian fairy tale basically is about a powerful king with three sons who tries to endow them with great power and virtues but in the end sends them away from his land because he believes that they may have been too sheltered. The three princes arrive on a foreign land and identify precisely a camel they have never seen, accused of stealing the “Lost Camel” they then explain how they were able to identify the camel by clues that they were observant enough to see.
So the three princes “made desirable discoveries” that led to a situation of “good fortune” and they came from Serendip... which leads us to Serendipity!
I now have my first painting that I want to find and compose while I am in Africa... I would like to find three young bull elephants that I can make into my “Three Princes of Serendip”. Hopefully luck and good fortune will continue to give me an aptitude for making desirable discoveries.