Found my grand old copy of the Lego Ideas Book I bought from the local store way back in 1980! As you can tell, I paged through this book over and over and over and over…
Often, we don’t really want the things we want. The things we covet. The things we obsess over. All the various things, be they items or jobs or vacations or even fame or riches. We don’t want the thing.
We want what we think those things will get us. What those things will provide for us. All the ways of being that we can inhabit inside those fulfilled fantasies.
Unfortunately, things cannot give us that. They may – quite usefully! – grant us a stage, an opportunity to generate it or have it show up, but it won’t get us it. It does not come bundled in the package. And it can never be the salve we are looking for.
So we try to get more. It’s never enough. We try other things. Not enough. We change things around. Still not enough. We may get distracted, amused, or even entertained, but only fleetingly. And never those ways of being we crave. We get trapped in the hamster wheel. Always searching, never receiving.
It is not by having that we can generate being. Or even generate doing. It is from deeper within. It is from intention, building upon a clear slate grounded in mindfulness and being present. The creation is internal, not external. The being begets the being.
From that starting point, things then become an amplifier. We truly can enjoy the things we have, do, or partake. Rather than being sought for mistaken purpose, things now can build on and further support the ways of being we have generated. We appreciate the things for what they are.
With our being in the lead and our things at our side, we can lead ourselves to joy, fulfilment, love, excitement, and gusto.
Here’s a take on the idea of a shipping container home that I quite like. Rather than mush all the containers together to create a single mass (much like a “regular” house), it uses the self-contained and nature of each container as a design starting point, creating a design that is both fun on the outside and works great to automatically create individualized spaces/rooms on the inside.
By laying out the three containers in a staggered formation and joining them with site-built connecting bits, each the interior gets to receive light from all four sides and the interstitial spaces can be used for a deck or a garden. And since the containers have all their structure along the outer edge, it was easy to punch in a whole bunch of nicely appointed windows to take full advantage of the configuration.
Inside, those connective bits serve double duty, both as hallways and as either a home office or as the laundry/utility area (all of which can be closed off behind sliding doors). It’s a very airy home, with the wood paneling letting the ample light diffuse all over, and the various bits of built-in furniture keeping things from getting too crowded.
The paneling both inside and out lets the home be well insulated, and it goes even one better, creating a floating roof that effectively creates a parasol to keep away the summer heat (just like this desert home I posted about a few years ago here). Solar panels, water capture, gardens… this house goes all out.
I quite like it. And while the shipping container bit is/was a great starting point (and an extra touch of sustainability) there’s plenty here that could be recreated with any style of construction (or pre-fab), creating something sculptural that perfectly shapes some fine living spaces inside.
Shipping Container Home By Modhouse.
Check out this bonus video by Living Big In A Tiny House!
If I needed a humidifier, I would totally buy this one if it were available…
By the one and only XKCD
Lovely pic of a happy Nala by the character designer and supervising animator for the original (animated) film!
by Aaron Blaise
The spear is the third weapon taught in Northern Shaolin kung fu. Before you begin learning the set proper, there is a basic drill to practice that familiarizes you with the feel of the weapon as well as ingraining an effective and basic technique. It’s three motions: circular snap to parry by your leg, circular snap to press onto the opponent’s hand, stab forward to the full extension of the spear. Pull back, and repeat.
Once you get the hang of it, you drill it with speed. Swoop, press, stab. Swoop, press stab.
“Now, practice it 100 times a day,” Sifu instructed. When Jay learned the drill, he was way more eager than that. “I’m going to practice a ton, get good real fast.” And so he’d go into the kwoon to practice well before class, he’d practice after class, practice on days he didn’t have class. Any moment he had. Swoop, press, stab. Swoop, press stab.
Several weeks later while Jay was practicing in the kwoon, Sifu walked by and noticed that his form was really suffering. The movements were slow, the trajectory all off, and the energy all erratic. “You seem to be regressing,” he called out. Jay could only nod unhappily. “Yes Sifu, I don’t know what it is. I’m practicing, but it’s just not getting better.”
“Let me see your left hand,” asked Sifu. Jay held it out. The web of flesh between his thumb and index finger looked as though someone had attacked it with a belt sander, all raw and split and bloody. “How much have you been practicing?”
“Oh I’ve been real good,” said Jay. “I’ve been doing it around 300 times a day!”
A silence hung in the air. Sifu looked from Jay back down to his bloody hand then back up at Jay again. He mock smacked him upside the head. “That’s why I said 100 times a day!”
I posted about the Sagrada Familia quite a few years ago (aside: it’s been four years? Wow…) and every time I come across a picture of the nave it still floors me. (Here’s a 360 interior shot that gives some sense of it – the interplay of all the elements in motion while walking would render it more magical still). Still on my list of places to visit, though more and more I’m planning out in the future for when it is completed, if only because even the ancillary spaces are going to be something amazing.
Case in point: A neighbor recently visited the cathedral and brought me a book that shows a picture of the “crossing room” – a room just above the main crossing of the nave and the apse, where the main tower is to rise, and it is, in a word, stunning.
The columns are continuation of the ones below, angled and formed to follow the structural forces without requiring exterior buttressing, creating these marvelous concentric rings of interplaying columns leading up to a whole gaggle of hyperboloids vaults that will be skylights… all punctuated by these angled and gem-like windows. The floor itself is suspended by these columns, hovering over the vaults below, with raked steps perfect for both quiet contemplation or a choir or any number of things. It is a thing of beauty, both spatially and structurally.
Here’s a 360 degree photo:
Even crazier is that the tower jutting above is going to be equally stunning in an entirely different way. Where this room has columns enclosing an open centre, the tower will have a sculptural central element (housing a glass lift) sinuously rising to the tower’s full height surrounded by diamond windows and colourful tiling.
No photo yet – construction is just underway – but have a rendered video instead:
Just incredible. The level of intricacy in both the work but also the number of rooms and spaces where you wouldn’t think there would be any, generated by following the conceptual underpinnings of the design to its fullest detail, all with the intent to create beauty over and over and over again. Absolutely wondrous.
The Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudi and countless others who have carried on the work.
“I saw Activision’s statement about why they “broke up” with Bungie over at GameSpot, but it’s like… more than seven billion wasn’t “enough” according to the onyx spire they worship. I don’t think they can be trusted to determine what constitutes enough.
I own a company, I understand that they have to make money, but the top of that organization is completely divorced from every other part of it. It’s sick in the particular, unaccountable way that is an accelerant to revolution. The people who generate the wealth they bathe in are so abstract as to be inconceivable. I have some experience with this; there are people who will pulp you to get a “good year.” One hesitates to suggest that they serve Evil Gods, you know, far be it from me to make a moral pronouncement, but their purposes are inimical to human flourishing. The human being, essentially considered fungible and endlessly replaceable in its capacity to generate value, exists nowhere in their calculus.
The parable of the golden goose has endured for a reason, and that is because none of these motherf’rs ever seems to learn it.”
Joe Hisaishi playing the main theme from the film Spirited Away. A beautiful tune played with passion and elegant feeling. Chill inducing.
(Hisaishi is also the composer of the piece)
Ever gain an insight, create some new possibilities, choose to take a different path… and no one seems to notice? Or care? Or they seem “determined” to keep you hemmed in? Or even if you’re fine for a while, one little slip and it all comes back?
Not surprising, really. After all, we’d trained all those people to relate to us in a certain way, trained them on who we “are”. Even inadvertently – our identities sure are sneaky in that way. And so we’re trying to express something into a space that’s already filled. They already “know” us. (And maybe they already know of all the times previously that we tried to change things up, or made noises about shifting, that, like so many New Years Resolutions, survived for about 2.2 weeks before slipping right back…)
One of the least noted yet most powerful steps in possibility is in sharing. Letting those around us that hey, we’ve noticed something about ourselves! And it doesn’t work for us! And probably hasn’t been working for you! We need to clean up our past, step up and make those deep apologies, acknowledge what’s been so, how we’ve been, and then share what we’ve gotten. The realization, the insight, the rough stuff. And our new commitment. Because when we do so, we go from trying to inject our new self into an environment that is set up and expecting the same old same old and instead create an environment of people who are at least open to seeing something new and are more likely ready and even pulling for your new ways of being and acting. Instead of resistance, there is support.
And to further tie this into last week’s post, the “bad news” nature that accompanies so many of our insights totally can hamper us from sharing them. We look bad! Who wants to tell others about that? Wouldn’t it be better to just step into the new me and try to sweep it under the rug and hope no one noticed how things were before? Well, for one, spoiler alert… they noticed. They ALL noticed. For two, alas, it doesn’t work that way. We need to do the work.
We need to step up, own our lives and own our foibles, because only then can we also own our insight, own the transformation, and clear away a space into which we can express that something new.