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Philosophy Tuesday

September 5, 2017

Delving further into the realm of last week’s post and flipping the focus a bit, there is this great quote that is rife for exploration:

“To have great pain is to have certainty.

To hear that another person has pain is to have doubt.”

–Elaine Scarry

Perhaps we can never, ever, fully, know the experience of others, nor can we ever, fully, express our own.  Thousands upon thousands of poems and songs have been written about love or misery, each trying mightily to capture the entirety of even what may seem like the most uncomplicated of emotion.  Yet thousands more will still be written, ever trying more mightily.

And despite all those songs, when we first fall in love, or have our hearts broken, or experience loss, or victory, did it ever truly prepare us?

The real question to ask in our pursuit of being alive, is what is our default thought when we hear about the experience of another?  Or see their actions without further context?  What lens(es) do we bring to bear?  How much generosity to we bring?

More importantly, what do we want our default to be?

It’s easy to be dismissive, to try to fix, to explain, to deny, or, well, simply to doubt the experience and rich context and background of someone else.  Even if that someone else is a friend, or family member. *

And while we may never be fully able to fully know their experience, we can go a long way towards it.  We can turn on our listening and our imagination and empathy and play the game to understand and to know.  Whatever gap is left, we can fill with generous  consideration and dispensation.

It is, after all, what we ourselves want when we are in pain, are feeling thwarted, stomped on, rejected, overwhelmed, without agency, under duress…

We want to be heard and to be known.

In that space, we can all center ourselves, grow, and begin to create the future we all want.

“Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Plato

 

* I wonder if maybe it is even easier to dismiss if they are a friend or family, as it becomes easier to project onto them:  you are my friend/family = therefore we must share the same history = therefore we are the same = therefore your actions or feelings can’t possibly be right.

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Architecture Monday

September 4, 2017

This one’s not completed or open for “business” yet (I say that in quotes as it’s a library and so not really a business) so we can’t see inside, but I do like what I see with the exterior!  Take the corners, pull them up, and insert glass.  Nice.  A straightforward move that, pardon the pun, reads well and really projects the public space within outward to the community it serves.

Not every corner need be pulled up to the same height;  I’m guessing this corner is the children’s wing, and they get their own right-sized windows.

I really dig the black panels that ring the structure.  Ribbed and folded, from a distance they read (again, sorry) like the pages in a book.  It also really contrasts nicely with both the vibrant green of the entry and, even better, the planted roof that’ll help keep the building cool in several senses of the word.

Best of all, check out how the leafy shadows from nearby trees plays across those irregular folds.  Two sets of textures that combine for double richness.

Great stuff.  Kew Gardens Hills Library by WORKac.  Photos by Field Condition.

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WTF Weather

September 2, 2017

It hit 42~C here today (315~K).  42!  That’s crazy talk!

(…and the answer to life, the universe, and everything, which I never realized until now meant that the answer to LU&E was just super mind-melting hotness…)

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SpaceX Amazement

August 31, 2017

Came across this picture today that adds some perspective on the SpaceX barge landings… and makes them even more impressive:

Via teslarati.com

That’s a 737.  SpaceX is vertically landing 737s on a barge in the middle of the rolling ocean with sub-metre precision.  Holy the cow!

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Wonder Wednesday

August 30, 2017

Wow!  An amazing 3D tribute to the master storyteller, Hayao Miyazaki…

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Philosophy Tuesday

August 29, 2017

I’ve been enjoying hearing friends and many more  share about their eclipse experiences.  What’s really stood out for me (beyond the complete excitement) is the near-universality of the sentiment of how absolutely mind-blowing it is, in a way that surprised each and every one of them.  It did not matter how much they knew about it, how much they researched, or even how much prep they did.  There, in that moment of totality, in that instant of being present to a world in an eclipse, it defied all manner of expression.  It defied, and still defies, description.

There is a (sometimes big) difference between knowing about something, and actually experiencing it.

I’ve heard this shared elsewhere too, around marriage, parenting, warzones, natural disasters, concerts, and more.  My own most vivid of these is when I planted my first garden.  I knew all about the biology behind plant growth, I understood about planting and watering and that food grows, I’d read accounts of other gardeners.  But putting that tiny seed in the soil and then a few months later being confronted with a 6 foot high plant bursting with produce was almost unfathomable.  “I didn’t do anything but pour water on it, and yet… blam, look at this!”

These are context-shifting and world-growing moments, a place where our consciousness can expand and we can inhabit more of ourselves and the world.  They are times to reflect on that we are never ‘done’, we never ‘know it all’, and we’re never not able to grow.  They are a reminder to not take ourselves, and our views, and our certainties, and our supposed knowledge, so darn seriously.

And, verily, they are times for pure, unadulterated wonder and bliss, being present to what’s so, and nothing else.

 

* Thus too this is why imagination and developing imagination is vital.  It may not get us all the way there, but even part way can be powerful…

** And I already have begun plans for travel to see the 2024 eclipse!

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Architecture Monday

August 28, 2017

There’s something nicely rhythmic about this apartment conversion in Budapest.  Check out how the way the kitchen and bathroom niches are framed individually in muscular wood (in a pleasing ratio to each other), while at the same time they also continue upward to encompass a continuous loft overhead.  The same frames, at the same time, contain individual slices and something that spans the both of them, while relating in rhythm to each other and also relating to the existing doorway.  That’s some nice interplay there, not to mention a great way to create some very usable and pleasing “rooms” in an otherwise small apartment.  The netting is a nice final touch – safety while preventing the loft from becoming cut off from the rest of the space (not to mention I find it works with the rough frame aesthetic).

The rest of the place is a plethora of custom furniture all also made from the same raw wood detailing, all pairing nicely with the wood flooring (that I’m guessing came with the turn-of-the-century tenement building).  The table hides a fridge and doubles as a cutting board and kitchen work surface, the desk and cubbies are reconfigurable to house much more storage than might be expected.   Light, airy, compact yet active and uncluttered, this is nicely done work.

Bence Home by Studio Bunyik