between here and there


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Mixing Art


Currently reading Jim Harrison’s novella,”The Ancient Minstrel” a piece mostly drawn from Harrison’s later life. In continuation of an earlier blog post I wrote accounts about artists working in multiple art forms Harrison writes specifically of this experience when he stretched beyond writing poetry:

When he started writing prose too, at first it felt like he was committing adultery, but he soon recognized that if he was working on a novel he also wrote more poems. Poetry started the workday. Pasternak told us, “Revise your souls to frenzy.” 

I continue to wonder how we make the work whole. It stands together,  it stands on its own. The work is what comes of us when we are a part of the world. An expression of relationship

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Living at the Edge

  
We all get knocked off center sometimes. We work hard to maintain level. We struggle to retain some quality of pre-knowing because it feels safe. But what does that knowledge and safety add up to? 

Perhaps living on the edge is a better place to be. It’s not easy. It’s not comfortable. It certainly doesn’t feel safe. The waves are bigger. But the stars are brighter. The answers lie out there with our imagination.


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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. 


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Behind the Scene 

  
It’s been a while since I’ve seen an active alleyway. But here they are in downtown Pittsburgh. Reminding me that we all have something rough and not so tidy hiding behind the smooth, upfront apprearnces of our lives. 

Here, if we are lucky, we wrestle with the unresolved. The unkept, not quite figured out aspects of our selves. I’m walking around this small block, back and forth, witnessing the clean exterior and disheveled interior at the same time. Feeling the same in myself. 


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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.


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Turkey Trek

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After a challenging Spring, a great Remote Studio, a lot of silence in my world of blogging, I’m reemerging. This morning the summer day brings cooler temps and some rain. Giving pause to everyone’s summer productivity. Rolled bales of hay rest in their field, baby turkey chicks take a short trek along the country road that leads away from my home.


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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.