between here and there


1 Comment

Time in the Air

  

I imagine that for most of us the experience of flight provides a sort of suspension . Suspension of time and body. 

For me, on days when I’m not preparing for a lecture upon landing, there is a suspension of responsibility. Letting go of all the work that I left on the ground. A suspension that feels like being under water when I am snorkeling at a reef. 

Just me and the beauty in the world. Out in it, if only briefly. Being. Fish and shelled creatures, life floating by. Sunlight hanging in the atmosphere of clouds, the birth of day as the sun grazes across the shapes of the earth below.
All just being. 


Leave a comment

Grace and Peace

Simplexity

Simplexity

 

How do we learn to live like the flower? Graceful from beginning to end, beautiful everyday. From opening to closing, freshness to fading, but never useless or old. I want to learn how to be this way in the world. Full of peace at all times.


Leave a comment

The Search for Beauty

Sunrise o“We shall thus prevent our guardians being brought up among representations [music, sculpture, poetry, architecture] of what is evil, and so day by day and little by little, by grazing widely as it were in an unhealthy pasture, insensibly doing themselves a cumulative psychological damage that is very serious. We must look for artists and craftsman capable of perceiving the real nature of what is beautiful, and then our young men [and women], living as it were in a healthy climate, will benefit because all of the works of art they see and hear influence them for good, like the breezes from some healthy country, insensibly leading them from earliest childhood into close sympathy and conformity with beauty and reason…”

Socrates

Not much to say after reading this, but a lot of doing needs to occur.


Leave a comment

Reading Leopold

Louisiana Wetlands

Louisiana Wetlands at Sunset

I fell in love with the wetlands of Louisiana in part because I read Aldo Leopold, and in part because the grasses that wave against the blue sky of the Gulf remind me of the grasslands of the Great Plains of North America, which brings me back to the legacy of Aldo Leopold. I don’t use the word LOVE as a simple term, but as a description for that deep feeling we have when someone, thing, or experience moves our soul. That sense that we have when we believe we have found meaning in our world where so little existed before.

But this takes me a bit off-course, and the course I intend to take you on is the ground breaking trajectory of Aldo Leopold. Actually we will explore, his words, thoughts, and the legacy of Aldo Leopold.

As every Remote Studio begins, so will this one in the summer of 2015, with the reading of Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, with Essays on Conservation from Round River. Even if you don’t realize it today, in a a few weeks you will. You will understand the great debt you owe Leopold for the places we call wilderness today, for the endangered species that are protected, for the idea that poetry can be found and experienced on the land, and then written about, and shared with all of us. That the fast paced day you spent online, driving in traffic, and answering texts, can be slowed down and valued relative to the place you find yourself: with the experience of sun, wind, scent and birdsong.

And if you wonder why we would be reading a book written by an activist (although he may not have called himself such) in 1949 , you only need to read the book to learn. The obviousness of this request will appear as you understand how necessary words written sixty-six years ago are in 2015.

Aldo Leopold’s book, the whole book, will be discussed at the end of the first week of Remote Studio, a week of hiking and making, with very little time for sitting still. To give yourself the opportunity to savor his words, thoughts, and to commit to your future, I recommend that you start reading the book before Remote Studio begins. And to take notes, and to write notes to yourself and underline passages you value in the book.Live in the book.  And perhaps someday, if you pay attention you will have a place you love, too.

From this place that Leopold provides we begin our journey with Remote Studio, and the understanding of why architects so desperately need to know the world as he saw it.

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Courage in Place

20141030-120055.jpg

20141030-120120.jpg

I have recently been reminded of the root of the word courage. From the French corage, which means heart. When we love deeply, we find our courage. Today I am in the place of corage.

The spirit of New Orleans seeps into you if you give it a chance. It’s the reason visitors want to gather T-shirts and coasters and voodoo dolls, trinkets and beads and any other talisman before returning home, where their courage must be weak. New Orleans has a spirit of hopefulness beyond ordinary hope. It is a place where commitment and perseverance shine, where value of place and it’s specificity winds together with people and environ to make something that is not repeatable anywhere else . It is a place where tragedy is worn beside hope, and love next to hate, peace outshines war. It is a place where all that is good in us pushes back against all the potential negatives.

New Orleans shines with our humanness. As a place, it deeply contrasts my home of Montana, Which is why I value any visit here. It reminds me that beauty comes in all forms, that wildness so easily visible in the mountains and rivers and grasslands still survive within us as we stand up for our beliefs of what daily living should be like – and what we should commit to for the long haul.

Being here requires gumption expressed in many ways. Look into Bourbon street and recognize it’s bacchanalian presence. Early in the morning the night before is washed and swept away, and the stain of disregard remains. It only takes a walk to the next block to be deep in the neighborhood of respect and care, where sidewalks may be cracked and old, but are clean and free. In New Orleans a cordiality still remains as people cross paths, walk their dogs, say hello to strangers , contribute to the street with beautiful flowers cascading from baskets and balconies.

The point of all this life, is not to judge in relation to good, to single out, or hope that the bad May disappear. This hope is an unrealistic idealistic condition we should all recognize as impossible when we think about the qualities we hold within. The point of all this life, the place called New Orleans, is the manner in which it exists given the struggle of life . I feel in New Orleans a rise beyond good and bad, a rise of culture that’s potential moves toward the good in spite of the bad. To move beyond our strife toward a belief through courage and commitment to move toward grace.

We can see New Orleans in pictures. We can imagine, we can accept or judge. It may be a place that pushes against our beliefs , our senses, our taste at the tongue. But what I love about New Orleans is that it is real, striding, gathering, grasping, pushing on. Making itself new every morning yet remaining it’s singular self, giving me courage as it seeps Into me.


Leave a comment

Beginning Practice

20141026-073324.jpg

What do you do when you have more ideas than you have days of a life ?

Remember your mission. How does anyone, any successful creator measure their decision to go forward with an idea? They return to their mission for measure. Of all the ideas, of all the potential, the one to pursuit is the one that best propels your mission forward.

Know your mission in life . Know why you do what you do, set course and take off.

From here begins practice.


Leave a comment

Above the Sunrise

20141022-094545.jpg

Rising out of the valley where I live I could see the lights below dot the floor if the Earth, Making 60,000 residents momentarily visible before we moved across the mountains .
Rising even with the horizon …The sun slit open the sky, Ripping the mountains from the darkness, the Horizon resting on jagged peaks, The Blackness of the clouds giving way to grey then dusty blue.
Not long after the sharpness of the orange, snow squalls float at mountain tops blurring the line and dulling the color until the sky was just a dusty beige. A momentary fade of earth to sky in shades of grey. And a clearing again to the early blue sky of morning .
The plane speeds along for the moment ahead of the sunrise making the transience of flying brilliant as the sun rises continually over the mountains coming and going along the horizon, then disappearing behind the atmosphere that lies between.