Archive for August, 2017

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Greenland is on Fire

August 18, 2017

There are wildfires.

On Greenland.

In the permafrost.

Which is supposed to be frozen.

(Hence the perma-)

This is not good folks.

 

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Wonder Wednesday

August 16, 2017

so do they come striding through,

marching down a line,

on paws so soft,

and bodies fierce,

bristling with eagerness,

to greet another day,

as roaring beauties,

aflame in the savannah

 

photo by Torie Hilley

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Philosophy Tuesday

August 15, 2017

A couple of years ago, during a mindfulness and meditation panel I was co-leading, one of the participants raised their hand:

“If attachment, so suggests Buddhism, is the root of all dis-ease… well, how do you know when you are attached to something?”

Hmmm.  That was a good one.  It can be fabulous and very empowering in life to be committed to something, but at what point can we tell its crossed beyond a commitment into an attachment?

I paused for a moment to let this percolate.

“I’d say that… if you find yourself righteously hot, fixated, uncontrollably going on about something, and you’re gripped by it… then it’s probably an attachment.  There’s a visceral component to it, one of those ones that defies neat and accurate description but if you let yourself be sensitive to it you get to know that grip.  Actually, you can probably think back to a time when something was said or done or you learned that just had you react with such recoil and fury that seemed to come out of nowhere… well, bingo, that’s the feeling, that visceral reaction.  There’s something there beyond just a commitment.

And this is really good to notice, not only because attachments can cause us such distress, but because it robs us of our freedom and, perhaps counter-intuitively, kills our performance and our power.  It also means that maybe we should check that commitment, because I’ll bet ya if we have that reaction we’re actually attached to something other than what we’re saying we are committed to.  And if our authentic self wants us to embrace that commitment, authentically, then we’re going to want to deal with that inauthentic hidden attachment.

Once we’re out of the grip of attachment, we are free to play and be who we truly want to be.”

A great question that had me distinguish something for myself that day.

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Architecture Monday

August 14, 2017

There’s something quite arresting about this house, in even this one photo.  The sun is certainly one reason why, gleaming off the smooth white polished and plastered walls (from locally sourced lime and salt) to bathe the interior in a sensuous glow… but for me it’s the way that smooth and polished plaster plays off the rough block construction that form the walls and columns, and even more so along the rough groin vaulting of the roof.  Against the strong uniform background the shadows and textures really pop, and the different patterns and surfaces make for a tableau of visual delights.  Even the stairs and floor are finely honed, adding their contrast between the silky and the coarse.

Even better is this is an adaptive reuse, made from a former lamp-oil mill built in the 17th century.  It does what adaptive reuse does best, letting the rugged form speak of its time and place while carrying it forward with a new use and new insertions.

Nicely done.  Ludovica + Roberto PalombaSerafini House by Palomba Serafini Associati

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Wonder Wednesday

August 9, 2017

Wow wow WOW, this is an absolutely fabulous painting of the Secret of NIMH.

Courage of the heart is very rare.

The stone has a power when it’s there.

Art by Lothlenan

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Philosophy Tuesday

August 8, 2017

One of the greatest things to learn as a human being,

I assert,

is the ability to be with yourself.

And to that I mean really just be with yourself.

You.

And your internal state.

No music.

No movies.

No conversation.

No email.

No task or goal or game.

No distractions.

No interruptions.

Maybe walking alone, maybe sitting, maybe lying down in bed,

But just you, walking with, sitting with, lying with, whatever comes up for you.

It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do;

And it is, very much, something that needs to be learned.

(And the earlier you are fortunate to have the opportunity to learn it,

the better,

Because if not, woah.

It’s like learning to walk when your thirty.

Every fall is going to hurt so much more,

And the discouragement will be so much worse.)

But it is vital.

Because in that space,

you,

we,

learn to,

be still

to observe

to listen

to know ourselves

and therefore to know others

to open up

to connect

to feel all our feels

to be at one with ourselves

and at one with the world around us

and to live in all of these worlds

simultaneously.

From that space,

comes birthed,

agency

creativity

awareness

emotional integrity

we learn to hear our authentic selves

and we learn to let go our inauthentic narration.

It is from here,

that we construct ourselves

design who we will be in the world

give voice to our genuine character

and step out into the world

well adjusted

well equipped

with peace of mind

and a full heart.

When we,

you,

can be with yourself,

you can be with whatever life brings

when it life’s all over you.

You can be,

just be,

no matter the circumstances.

And in every moment,

you get to be,

how,

and who,

you want to be.

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Architecture Monday

August 7, 2017

I just find this one really nifty.  An auditorium/stadium/community centre made pretty much entirely out of bamboo and a thatched roof.  And it’s gorgeous.  Arches upon arches upon truss-like-arches, going back as far as the eye can see.  Openings in the roof plane like an unfolding lotus flower casts light inward, highlighting the evocative structure even as it provides illumination.  Walls, balconies, stage, also all made of bamboo, held together by woven ropes.

Lovely.  Locally sourced, naturally harvested, nothing but borax salt for treatment, full of natural light and ventilation, and a delight to experience both inside and out.  Great stuff.

Bamboo Sports Hall at the Panyaden International School by Chiangmai Life Construction