washed in brilliant streaks of flowers
lightning riot of color, striking awake the gloom of winter
floating over the willamette, shuddering steel trusses
trembling under trains, railcars, trucks, cars, bicycles, runners and walkers
100 years of resonance – plates and bolts, straps and rails, pulsing synchronicity
100 years of rain, sun, wind, ice, heat – tracing a history of time in steel
one, of eight, in this city of bridges – “bridgetown” – the defining structures of the city of portland
framing and connecting the city – east and west
beauty rediscovered, after decades past – seeing that, just now
“one breath of juniper smoke, like the perfume of sagebrush after rain, evokes in magical catalysis, like certain music, the space and light and clarity and piercing strangeness of the american west. long may it burn.”
― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
drifting in red sands before the edge of the longest and deepest slot canyon, the landscape is full of magic. rock formations hold ancient petroglyphs, telling the story of the land and people that have lived here for thousands of years.
large swaths of this land were at the bottom of the ocean that divided the continent. now, it is rich with sage, juniper, scrub oak, and cacti – even moss.
the colors, otherworldly – the designs of nature, striking.
climbing deep into the slot canyon, the temperature drops, shadows slide over liquid stone. echoes of the floods – walls of water and debris, their markings left as tree trunks and branches held by the narrow walls, high overhead.
“men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear-the earth remains, slightly modified. the earth remains, and the heartbreaking beauty where there are no hearts to break….I sometimes choose to think, no doubt perversely, that man is a dream, thought an illusion, and only rock is real. Rock and sun.”
― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
the wonder began, with the first lesson in the history of architecture
culminating in this walk - into the circle, at sunset – just past the equinox
sometime between 4 and 5 thousand years ago, how did they come to be..
standing in waves of wind and rain, holding the heat of the sun, reflecting moonlight, for millennia
what has happened, here — spiritual ritual, time-marking, sacrifice, burial..
the stones are us, we are them – shaped by our hands, placed by our force
they breathe, and watch the stars, clouds and moon arc across the sky
the power of our being
and theirs, these living stones
this anniversary, i’m remembering the power – destructive, and life-creating, of the mountain i lived next to and climbed. I watched her crystalline reflection float in spirit lake from my earliest memories. mt. saint helens is still a lesson for me, the power of the life giving and life taking force of nature, the beauty and grace and challenge of that power. always remembering.
a few week back, i joined a convergence of people exploring the creative edges of retail – and talked with them about the idea of a creative quest. without this quest, we lose our way in the mist that clings on the mountainside.
closer to the top, there is a long view over the horizon, and the risk of volcanic confluence – drawing deep from the center of the earth both violent destruction and the essence of new life.
i will keep looking for the insights, under these..
i’ve considered the theory that time isn’t real – that it is simply our perceptive distance from the energy imprint of an event, a construct of our human condition that places us in this world in a way that we can comprehend, that it is simply a human limitation, not a reality.
the narrative time confluence that we frame our world and our lives around is simply a fabrication.
the concept of flow is interesting in it’s relationship to this reflection – that we are part of this flow, the vast confluence of an infinite number of occurrences, all interwoven – like an unfathomable cosmic river that we are dropped into, in our present moment, and if we could simply swim upstream or leap downstream, we’d still be in that flow, just in a different place.
is that why those structures that manifest layers of imprints become magnetic to so many of us? why thousands or millions continue to be drawn to those places - generation after generation? is that where we can see this flow and sense the echo of those events that occur upstream or downstream? is that why we want to create that physical imprint – so that we can re-discover it, generations later? i wonder..
it is striking, how architecture has transformed with the use of artificial light
in spain, there are many structures (more than a century ago) created with only considerations of natural light
created in relationship to cycles of day to night, season to season, and the interplay of light with materiality
places for meditation, prayer, contemplation, retreat, and community congregation have light imbedded into their structures
transformational it is, to be considering the natural and ever-changing source of light, the form that will be sculpted from that light, and the surfaces to be illuminated
how memorable to the eye, and to the deeper experience of those who are held within?
the spirit of celebration is embedded in the architecture
in the richness of colors, textures and curving forms
the intricate details of carved wood, cut tile, plaster stalactites
from the spirit of the people – the flamenco moves
children parading in costume, ascending angels
dreamscapes of vibrant hues and waves of structure
from gaudi in barcelona
to the alhambra in granada
the ecstasy of being alive
into the essence of architecture
in the convents and monasteries of spain
the architecture speaks of silence
a shelter from the noise of life
for quiet reflection
for living in the silence of being