In particular, the livelihoods of the 14 people—and their families—working in the Lapidary in Teofilo Otoni. “A lot of my fear was self-centered … and that sort of disappeared. I derive a lot of meaning when what I do affects other people in a positive way,” he says.
He’s also thrown a couple of curveballs into his life. The Commes des Garçons-wearing New Yorker who vacations in the south of France, three years ago bought a home with his partner of 15 years… in the Adirondacks, five and a half hours away. He still makes it into the city for work, of course, “But it doesn’t bother me at all. It’s so quiet here and the air is delicious.”
Bentley, who also paints, has been focusing on living in the moment, which he thinks is the fulcrum of all creativity. “I think the more open you are to the moment, the fresher stuff is,” he says. “You have a greater sense of the reckless freedom of discovery—with your psyche and with your work.”
I liked the ring of that. That “reckless freedom of discovery” dovetailed nicely with a thirst for fun and purpose that belied his 65 years on this planet. Bentley also had another phrase for it: “You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever.”