Canada Day / Fête du Canada

A muted happy Canada Day to all. I join in reflecting today for who we are and what we’ve accomplished, including all the exciting things we’ve done, and including all the times we’ve failed to live up to who we claim we are or want to be, and, most importantly, the results thereof. There are many legacies that are less than savoury, many that are ongoing and continuing to causing harm to this day. Often we’ve stepped over them. Let’s have this be the day where we cease to do that and do the hard work until we can live up to our ideals, building a just, verdant, equitable, and peaceful country so we all have something to celebrate.

Philosophy Tuesday

“In an abusive relationship, your virtues get turned against you: ‘Don’t you want to be patient? And forgiving?’ ‘Isn’t it good to listen?’ ‘Don’t you want to provide for your girl?’ ‘Don’t you want to be faithful?’ ‘If you love someone, you don’t give up on them.’

In an ordinary relationship, those virtues will shine.

With an abuser, you will die waiting for them to be reciprocated.”

Abigail Thorn

 

(I think this is a seriously important thing to learn, get, and remember.  Not only for relationships, though, of course, it is supremely crucial there!  Because it is easy enough to get bamboozled, hoodwinked, and browbeat into thinking that you are not in an abusive relationship.  That the faults are all yours, that you should get your act together, that you’re not good enough, and that if you do anything different you are a bad person.

It is so very much a part of the DARVO play, especially the RVO part.

It is 100% manipulative maliciousness.

Which is where it also crosses over into territories other than relationships:  The same manipulative maliciousness is often brought into discussions or debates.  As we engage in far-reaching conversations about policy, about morality, or about our views on the wider world, whether these conversations happen on the interpersonal or on larger levels/stages it is important to learn, get, remember, and recognize when these same techniques are brought to bear.

It is, naturally, the ultimate in bad faith arguing.  For the vicious manipulator does not care one whit for the values and virtues they are levelling against you and that they are using to accuse you.  They are using them simply as a tool because they know you care.  They are weaponizing your values and virtues.

Again, it is abusive.  They do not hold to those values or virtues.  They are employed only as a technique with which to “win.”  Though, as Abigail notes above, when conversing and discussing with someone acting in good faith, all those virtues and values will shine, and great things can occur; with an abuser, it’s more that everyone loses.)

Architecture Monday

Perched on a narrow mountain plateau in Nepal, this radio station rocks.  As in it is made of rock.  As in it is made of the very rock that surrounds and is part of the site.  Except for a few concrete columns, nearly everything is very craftily made of rock.

But this is no simple pile of rubble!  It’s got plenty of great design and detail work.  For one, it uses light in exquisite ways, from atriums and courtyards (that also provide protection from the strong mountain winds) to slot windows that lets shafts of illumination play out dramatically across the rough rock surface.  For two, with great fun and impressiveness it even uses the same natural rock for various bits of furniture.

It is always important to design your buildings to suit their context.  This one does so in spades while going even further to build itself out of the context in which it sits.  Very neat and great work.

Himalesque by ARCHIUM

Wonder Wednesday

Oh I so love these works by Abelardo Morell!  Turning an entire room into a camera obscura, then photographing the result.  There’s something very mystifying and fascinating about the real world projected into 3D space rather than a flat screen, interacting with the room, a mix of the mundane and the fantastical (and it’s up to us to choose which of either the room or the world is the mundane one and which is the fantastical).  So nifty.

I can’t possibly link them all, so find more at his gallery here!

All works by Abelardo Morell

Philosophy Tuesday

To add to the Opposing Diapoles I mentioned a few months ago, there was another construct I discovered that had been hemming me in:  my Evil Triumvirates.*

Unlike the Diapoles, these weren’t contrarian landmines on either side of me into which I was guaranteed to step on no matter which way down the path I went.  Instead, these were views/truths/realities that worked in unison, albeit surreptitiously.  While, together, they formed a big barrier that affected me in a big way, each also had their own angle or flavour to it.  They were variations on the same barrier, sneaking up from different directions and linking to form an interconnected mega-barrier.

This meant that even if I managed to diminish or even remove one of the barriers, the other two still remained to maintain the constraint.  I remained trapped.

Even more insidiously, they were so splendidly interwoven that even when I removed one of them, the other two’s roots could still nourish whatever fragment that remained, allowing it to regrow and return.  Gah!

Which was pretty vexing!  I’d seen the thing, I’d done the work, I’d moved it to the side… so why wasn’t I freer?  Why was I still tripping up?  Why were my possibilities being stunted?  Why did I keep getting snarled?  Gah, again!

By bringing mindfulness to the fore, I could let it just play out while remaining present in the inquiry, and I began to catch glimpses of the Triumvirates.  I began to see their triple Neapolitan nature, how they operated on me, and of the way they linked together.  How fascinating they were!

I gave them their name.  And with that, I could begin to untangle them.  I could see them for what they were and learn how to complete them and move the barrier to the side while preventing them from recreating each other.

Of course, as with everything else in the art of living, it’s an ongoing project, and new barriers arise all the time. But this is no longer one of my blind spots, and with that comes new freedom, choice, and joy.

 

* Of course, they weren’t evil per se… they just were.  And had an unproductive impact on me.  But, like with the Diapoles, making it fun to say was important, both to keep it present and also to disarm them.   Making them out to be hilariously melodramatic and almost cartoonish evil shadowy figures hanging out near the margins immediately decreased the likelihood of me taking them too gosh darn seriously, which automatically diminished their hold on me.

** And the poorer experience of life that went along with it.  And, also, the lesser results that came from acting within that/those constraint(s)…

Architecture Monday

I’ve been a fan of the work by Patkau Architects for decades now, admiring the rich complex geometries of their buildings.  This otherwise small and humble gathering space is no different.  Eight repeating ‘petals’ form a circular room that soars up to the sky, like cloth captured in a breeze.  Meanwhile, sculptural windows around the base allows the gaze to reach out towards the mountain like upon which the building is perched.

This is the second building on this site, using the same foundations as the previous one that had unfortunately burned down.  The curving structure is astoundingly made of standard 2x4s turned into sinuous gluelam beams.  Unfurling like a blossom and meeting at an oculus, the smooth white petals create a delicate space that gently holds everyone within.

Resting nicely within the landscape, it’s lovely work all around, and airy form that befits its use and place.  Great stuff and another fine addition to the Patkau portfolio.

Temple of Light by Patkau Architects