Some mighty fine old school animation, coupled with the absolutely powerful, marvelous, and moving score by Jerry Goldsmith…
Every person you meet meets a different you.
On the one hand, that doesn’t seem right. After all, it always feels like I am me, and the me that walks around is always there. So, clearly, whenever we meet someone they must be meeting the “me” that I am.
On the other hand, well, we often behave differently around different people, right? We present ourselves one way at work, or another way at home, or a third way to our church/club/team/drinking buddies. So, ok, maybe it makes sense that there are at least a handful of “me”s out there to meet.
Turns out, there’s a quite the many more than that.
Every person that you encounter creates a version of you in their heads. Some of it is based on your interactions. Some of it is based on their prior experience and projection. But it’s a distinct, individual, you.
Therefore you, I, we, are different people to each our parents, siblings, friends, acquaintances, coworkers, neighbors, and the regular clerks at our stores. There are thousands of “you”s and “me”s out there, in thousands of minds. Created by thousands of beings.
There’s a you that exists in each version, but it isn’t the same you, and “you” aren’t really a “someone” at all. Which makes the idea of knowing yourself all the more interesting…
The corollary, however, is perhaps even more profound.
Every person you know is also a thousand different people. The individual you know them as is your personal them. They are not that exact person to another. All their gifts and all their faults are, in many ways, particular to you.
Meet them fresh and under different circumstances, and you might create them totally different. Let your views be fresh, and who they are may completely shift. They may grow. Or they may shrink.
There’s a lot that opens up in this understanding. Empathy. Delight. Choice. Deepening relatedness. Clarity. And a realignment towards authentic selves, both for ourselves, for theirselves, and for all the “you”s that exist out there.
* Apologies for all the I/you/we perspective shifts up there…
Here’s something simple and fun: start with a renovation, tack on a new bit onto the front of the existing building, and make it super playful in bold colour and with interlocking, triangular, operable, shutters.
Straightforward and effective all by humble means. Nice!
I want to take a time out here to note something, even for those who are not in California or voting in the upcoming elections in the USA: Though I post these infrequently, I don’t want to give the impression that only certain elections are important. Quite the contrary.
They all are.
To that end I implore you all to vote. In every election. For every position. Not just big elections for federal/national governments, but all the way down to your local elections. Much of what affects your daily lives is decided at the local level. Or the provincial/state level. So-called “not important” or “not monumental” election(s) are rarely not important. Swings of legislatures happen during these times of low turnout, and you may find things going in directions you don’t want them too. So please vote.
And please remember that “not choosing” is still making a choice. If you do not vote, or do not vote with thoughtfulness and care, then you are explicitly stating that you are fine with any outcome. That whatever happens is fine by you. Implicitly, you are agreeing with what comes. So please vote.
If you feel your vote doesn’t/won’t matter, please know this: it does. There are those who want to convince you that you don’t matter, because it makes their job easier to game the system, stay in power, or bend things to their wishes. Don’t listen to them. Recent elections in many countries have been decided by very narrow margins, and unlike in the past many parties no longer interpret that as a signal to govern from the centre. They push to the edges. So please vote.
Protest votes rarely turn out for the better. Avoid them. Bring thoughtfulness and care to the polling booth. And please vote.
If you think it will take too long/it’s too confusing to become informed, I invite you to consider that it does not. Put aside a day. One day (I usually spend around 6-8 hours researching my shadow ballot). That’s usually enough to become grounded. Then you can build from there, little by little until it becomes big. Also remember the above: there are those who want to convince you it’s too tough, too confusing, you don’t have time, that it’s no fun. Again, it makes their job easier to bend things to their wishes. So please vote.
(And if you are in a country where voting is not permitted, or is wracked by violence, or corrupt, then you have my sorrow. I push for the day when you will have your voice. Wherever you can and feel safe to do so, even if things are corrupt, there can come great and surprising change when people band together. If you cannot or if things are just not safe, then stay safe and take care of yourself and those around you.)
And lo, an election approaches. Here’s my shadow ballot.
“Since I can’t vote, please allow me to tell you how to vote instead…”
(Needless to say, this will be a long post)
A journey; to where?
Sometimes, it matters not.
The fantastical always awaits.
art by Matt Rhodes
There was this great ad for Ikea from years ago, directed by Spike Jonze:
Objects cannot make decisions. Objects do not grow. Objects do not make meanings in their lives. Objects do not possess agency. Objects lack emotion. Objects cannot create and act and cavort and cry and all the things people (and other living things) can do. Objects are fixed, predictable, unmalleable. Objects are either working or broken. Objects can be thrown away.
People are not objects, of course.
But we turn people into objects all the time.
Whenever we act like how we see, label, relate, or think of someone, and like the meaning they have for us is the right one, the true one, the one and only one, we’ve turned them into a thing. An object. An other.
We do this to our coworkers, management, professions, and the clerk at the store. We do it to hobby groups, enthusiasts, and fans of a thing. We do it to genders. We do it to whole cities and whole countries just as readily as we do it to our siblings, parents, friends, neighbors, and lovers.
When we objectify, we exterminate. The vital being entity that stands (metaphorically, perhaps) before us is snuffed out, and a thing is all that remains.
And the trouble is, we don’t treat things the same way as we treat people.
I do so love rammed earth construction. (So much so that it was one of my first Architecture Monday posts.) Something about it exudes warmth for me, often coupled with a delightful tactile roughness along with the beauty from the colourful striations.
So that I love this office in Paraguay is no surprise. Made with reused formwork, recycled glass, and encircling existing trees, what would be a box is otherwise twisted into a spiral to enclose the office, kitchenette, toilet, and, of course, the trees. Cuts in both the walls and ceiling let in plenty of light to splay across those rough walls to create a lovely play of shadow that changes throughout the day.
Basic in form, this is a great example of how wonderful space can be created without breaking the bank. All it takes are deft hands and minds, care, and a desire to build something beautiful.
This picture of my beloved CN Tower:
Amusing not only for its odd look in its unfinished state (looks like they just reached the top out point for the Sky Pod), but also how bare and barren the skyline (or lack thereof) around it feels, with nary a tall building in site. These were early days in what would become the big TO….
Has nothing to do
With being fearless
Is not the absence of fear
It is having fear
And doing it anyway