architecture is design in at least four dimensions. there are more dimensions i wonder about, that physicists theorize on – 10, maybe 11 dimensions - though they are not physically evident. translating the others into concrete, or even words, is an obscured, mystical and magical act – like the infusion of spiritual and magical powers into layered metals in the making of the keris blade.
this master keris maker – a national treasure of java (who passed away only months after our time together), told of the final fusion - made during days, maybe weeks of meditation – no eating, no sleeping – a trance-like state where the spirit and magic of the blade is evoked. it is physically manifest in the intricate layered metal patterns on the finished blade, and serves as powerful protection to the family for whom it is made - it takes about one year to complete the process of folding and fusing metals in the creation of one blade.
when i look at buildings i see time – forgotten or treasured. i see the evidence of time – through the weathered patina of materials, the craft and construction of the culture, the purpose of the structure reflecting the industry of its time. i see the line and wave of people moving from one place to another, mixing across cultures and landscapes - the alchemic mix of east and west, islam and christian, buddhist and animist, merchant and shintoist, dutch farmer and frontier settler…
i see strata of time, layered one over another. of one time, re-made anew, or left to dissolve..
as we draw, we can move from left to right (width), forward and backward (depth), and upward and downward (height). in time, we can only be in the present, being taken toward our future. in our minds, we go back – our memories – in our minds, we go forward – our dreams.
in studying the sufi concept of time – it’s beyond the inevitable past, present and future line – it’s the whirling, cycling, spiraling continuum, no beginning, no end…it is a connection from the infinite to the present, from the present to the infinite – that is the hand, upward, the body, whirling, the feet, grounded.
my son reminds me that everything we see in the present moment is actually in the past – due to the fractional amount of time it takes for light to move through space. the idea that our reality is not real – that is well proven – our brains are designed for survival, not reality – and our perception of reality is limited by the capacity of our senses along with the contained past experiences our brain has stored - which means even with the aid of telescopes and microscopes we can still only percieve less than 25% of what actually exists.
seeking beauty, always.