Archive for the ‘Daily’ Category

h1

Architecture Monday

March 18, 2019

I like it when a design finds a way to use building material in new and even mind-bending ways.  That double-take my mind makes as it tries to marry what it knows about a material (and how it’s used) and the different form that is arrayed before it is exciting.  Which is all preamble to say, “woah, check out the sinuous and curvy brick on this one!”

Used to screen a semi-private courtyard, the brickwork is definitively out of the ordinary.  With twists and turns it lets light and air through while maintaining a mediated visual connection.  There’s something fun about the peeks of greenery (and warm light at night) that pokes through what we’d usually register as solid brick.  There’s also a feeling of movement, like a sheet of rippling water.

I’m much less sanguine about the remainder of the house and find the nearly blank walls on either side of that sensual front especially unfortunate.  Except for the tie to the courtyard, the rest of the house doesn’t appear to pull much inspiration from the unique front either, alas.

But what a front!  A fancy façade though that is a treat to see and see through.

The Lipton Thayer House by Brooks + Scarpa

h1

Wonder Wednesday

March 13, 2019

by Evelina Viola

h1

Philosophy Tuesday

March 12, 2019

“Distinction” is a term that crops up again and again within the philosophical and ontological arts.  But what is distinction?  And why is it important?

A distinction separates something into its own category or concept.

A distinction lets us know/feel/understand/grok the difference or particularnless of a thing/feeling/thought/category/concept.

Once a distinction is created, it becomes a vessel into which we can pour our attention and inquiry and understanding into.

Distinctions allow us to see things in greater detail, bringing refinement and granularity to things or behaviours or thoughts that otherwise would be the same for us.

Distinctions, ultimately, open whole new worlds and perceptions and understandings and even realms of possibility, of being, and of living.

Before something is distinct, we can’t really focus on it, because, to us, it’s not yet a thing.

The same happens in the martial arts.  The distinction of “rooting” creates a new world to explore:  How do I root?  What does my body need to do to root?  How do I gain that stability?  How do I transfer forces into the ground?  What does it feel like?  What do I have to adjust?  Ok, what do I have to adjust now to make it even better?

As we practice, we use distinction between two states or positions to develop things further.  Feeling the difference in balance, power, and exertion between two different body positions lets us know which one is more in line with proper rooting.  “Here I have to struggle to resist an incoming force, but here I am at ease.  This is what it feels like to engage rooting.”

With that double distinction, we know what we’re aiming for, and we gain a better sense of when we’re on target, and when we are not.*

So too when we learn a philosophical distinction.  Whether it be about the stories we tell ourselves, or one of the logical fallacies, or about identity, or about the hilarious ways we continually subvert our rationality, whenever we gain a distinction in those realms we gain access to it.  Distinction turns it from being a blind spot that we can only ever inadvertently crash into it into something we not only can avoid but can also use to our ever-growing advantage.

Distinctions are the root power of transformation.  And from those roots grows a glorious life full of power, joy, and peace.

 

* And as we gain further distinctions, our idea of rooting improves, which improves our grasp of where we should aim, which we then refine through testing and feeling, and thus the cycle of growth in ability continues evermore.

h1

Architecture Monday

March 11, 2019

Alright, I gotta admit I’m very amused by this one.  Having designed a small bit of farming-type work (a honey extraction hut), it’s fun to see well designed agrarian structures.  And by well designed I mean not only in the aesthetic sense for the landscape and for the inhabitants but also in a way that makes the farming easier and is better all-around for the animals clucking around.

Simple materials with a simple, but thoughtful, design… once again showing you don’t need to break the bank to make something elegant and a joy to be around, and that good design is for everyone.  Even us chickens.

The oh so aptly and humorously named House of chickens by SO? Architecture and Ideas (which is also a fun name!)

h1

Wonder Wednesday

March 6, 2019

Our beautiful home

With the new Dragon II spacecraft approaching

A new dawn

In more ways than one

“We can be united by a cause that’s not based on fear, threat or common enemy but rather on a bold endeavor, an insatiable curiosity to go beyond what is known and to do what has never been done. We Humans were built for Exploration.  And we were built to do it together.”

Photo and Quote by Anne McClain

(Who has a glorious and delightful series on her twitter feed giving a tour of the station to the little earth plush that arrived with the Dragon II… very cute!)

h1

Philosophy Tuesday

March 5, 2019

“I can’t believe that just happened!”

It’s that moment.  Something has just gone awry.  Wrong.  Pear shaped.  Blew up real good.  Whatever plan you had in that instant is no more, now a mess (often literally) in front of you.  Broken, spilled, deleted, wrecked, goofed, faux-pas, plans shifted, expected occurrence didn’t happen, things cancelled, people stranded… Or maybe it just started raining.  “I can’t believe this is happening!”

If you’re anything like me, that phrase has escaped your lips more than a few times throughout your life.*  Or, perhaps, more than a few times in a week.  It does seem inconceivable, doesn’t it?  Everything smashed in an instant.  How could this be?  And isn’t this deeply personal too?

Lately, though, I’ve taken adding – after a moment and a few breaths – a follow-up statement: “Well, I might as well believe it ‘cuz… there’s nothing not to believe.  That just did happen.”

It is a statement to return myself to mindfulness, and to be deeply (and honestly) present with what’s so.

“OK.  Crud.  Not what I wanted.  Clearly.  Yet, here we are.  OK.  What’s next?”

It’s an interrupt statement that keeps the downward spiral from taking hold of me.  Prevents me from being completely thrown.  It grants me freedom and peace, even, and especially, when things have gone asunder.  It cracks open the doorway to possibility.

It allows new options to come forth:  clean the mess, change the clothes, make the required phone calls, enlist another’s aid, fix what broke, reschedule things, change the plans, choose a new path, do something different… above all it grants me choice and a chance to get things (and myself) back on track.  Maybe not singing and dancing the whole way, but for sure with a quicker return to signing and dancing than where the “can’t believe” frustration spiral would’ve taken me.

There’s no pretending or sugar coating.  Nor is there catastrophizing.  Just being clear, present, and creating in a way that leaves me, at the end of the day, without frustration, upset, or disempowerment.

And along the way I get to enjoy the rest of my day.

 

* My current favourite variation is “I’m sorry, but physics do not work that way!”

h1

#Architecture Monday

March 4, 2019

The Spanish Pavillion at Expo Zaragoza in 2008.  It’s pretty striking.  I love the interplay between the bamboo-like pillars and the extra-thin roof plane.  Sitting in a pool of water, the pathways through the various enclosed areas — glass boxes screened by the multitude of columns — of the building become a boardwalk romp though a lovely interplay of light, reflection, and shadow.  Inside, multi-story spaces heighten the drama, your eye drawn upward to the underside of the roof lined with richly textured dark cork.

Designed by Francisco Mangado.