Archive for the symbology Category

i c e l a n d

Posted in architecture, art, beauty, iceland, landscape, light, lighthouse, mountains, scent, senses, symbology, time, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by dacarc

the alchemy of a place


indescribable, dreamy, mystical, stunning, disorienting


the visible elements:

lush green fields rolling under jagged peaks, washed in swaths of violet lupine




stark glaciers falling into the ocean’s horizon







endless lava deserts, blanketed in thick moss




split chasms, cracked earth fissures


photo by tim girvin


milky blue lakes of steaming minerals, thrusting from deep underground





heavy timber structures emerging, of the earth, stone-walled, turf sheltered






rushing waterfalls, slicing over sheer rock mesas downward to the sea







mist-shrouded peaks, veiled mysteries




never-ending light, midnight sun


standing stones, cairns, and rock-circles





ice-shards, crystalline boulders streaming over black sand shores





ancient codes, runes, and magical sigals




bands of wild horses, roaming over lush green valleys




the people, shielded by the powers of their natural island-world








the invisible elements:

the scent of green, wet stone, salt-waters



the desolation of no-where




the absence of night








dark histories, volcanic destructions




the chilled misted, crystalline air




the heat of underground forces




a place of mystery


photo by tim girvin


a magic place






and the enduring strength of the people



i c e l a n d


spirit architecture – spain.2

Posted in architecture, beauty, dreams, light, memory, senses, spain, symbology, time, travel, Uncategorized on November 30, 2011 by dacarc
evening shadow in the alhambra gardens – granada, spain

in spain, for thousands of years, architecture has been infused with the essence of human spirit

catedral primada santa maria de toledo - spain

human form, and the spirit of imagination have inspired the creation of powerful structures

virgin of montserrat – santa maria de montserrat monastery, spain

for centuries the benedictine monastery of montserrat developed around the legend of the black virgin – now a place of pilgrimage for millions

santa maria de montserrat – spain

elaborate courtyards, passageways, plazas, and intricately detailed structures inspire the continual flow of seekers

ribbed vaults of the monastery of montserrat

angel gracing the entrance to the shrine at montserrat - spain

scripts, hands, ribs, angels, saints, spirits – all deeply embedded into the form, the essence of buildings, in every detail

in the cloister of tortosa cathedral – spain

spirits that have passed become part of the walls

tortosa cathedral angel – spain

spirits carved out of the same materials of the structure – radiant and alive – polished skin and stone made fluid into wings and robes

gauidi’s sagrada familia facade – barcelona, spain

spirits emerging out of the structure – in the arches, window frames, and columns – growing out of the stone and earth

gaudi's park guell - barcelona, spain

human spirits are lifted from the ground, through the columns, to the arches and domes – upward into the light

central dome of the sagrada familia - spain

a striking reminder of how architecture can be a powerful embodiment of the spirit – how it can be the soul of the people who create it, or of those who are held within

tortosa cathedral - spain

or the spirit of those who have passed through

catedral primada santa maria de toledo – spain

or the spirit of those who surround it, or the community that is sheltered or inspired by it’s presence

granada cathedral - spain

or the eyes looking toward what cannot be seen

santa maria del mar - barcelona, spain

windows into the past and future

santa maria del mar – barcelona, spain

or the realization of collective dreams

shadow at the alhambra gate - granada, spain

or places to find your own shadow, in the dreams of a thousand years past.

lighthouse series #4 – cape florida lighthouse

Posted in architecture, light, lighthouse, seeing, symbology, time, travel, Uncategorized on June 20, 2011 by dacarc
historic photo – cape florida lighthouse, miami – key biscayne

in planning my first visit to miami, exploring the architectural heritage of south beach – morris lapidus’ fountainebleau, the streamline moderne art deco lined ocean drive, and a launching point to the everglades and onward to the southern tip of the country, key west.

pathway to the light – cape florida

on the lookout for old structures, and lighthouses – i found both here – the oldest structure in miami-dade county.

from the beach – cape florida lighthouse

the original lighthouse and cottage, built in 1825, were attacked and burned in 1836 by Seminole warriors protesting U.S. presence in the South Florida wilderness and resisting deportation from Florida to the West.

white light into blue – cape florida lighthouse

When the lighthouse was rebuilt in 1855-1856, it was extended from 65 feet to its present 95 feet in height, and wooden stairs were replaced with 119 spiraling iron steps to the top.

door marker – cape florida lighthouse

the first day i’d arrived too late.. the door, locked. i came back the next day, to climb

the light – cape florida lighthouse

119 steps

the climb – cape florida lighthouse

upward, the curving rhythm of steps, bolts, spiraling – hypnotic

spiraling structure – cape florida lighthouse
the spine – cape florida lighthouse
the steps – cape florida lighthouse
nearing the light – cape florida lighthouse
cape florida lighthouse
cape florida lighthouse
cape florida lighthouse

reaching the top platform, a door opens out to the sea

the place under the light – cape florida lighthouse

reconnecting to the brilliant sun, splintering light-shards over the water

the top, the sea – cape florida lighthouse

then one last climb, up to the housing of the beacon – original fresnel lens now replaced

at the top – cape florida lighthouse
final ascent – cape florida lighthouse
from the light to the sea – cape florida lighthouse

from here, the glass is etched with salted air, the ocean, shrouded in this veil

i wonder of the mysteries of all that has passed here before, seen and guided, held within the walls, shone out to the world

on this year-end, i wonder what will come out of the mist, in light

lighthouse series #2 – key west

Posted in architecture, beauty, energy, light, lighthouse, seeing, symbology, time, travel, Uncategorized on January 3, 2011 by dacarc

key west lighthouse - florida

lighthouse door with banyan tree - key west lighthouse, florida

reflecting on the year past, and in to the light of the next..

wrought iron ring lock - key west lighthouse, florida

beginning the journey again, today — climbing the 88 steps of key west lighthouse, up to the light – to look out

stair tower - inside key west lighthouse - florida

lantern oil coiling upward - key west lighthouse, florida

on the southern edge of the country, a shimmering blue ocean in the most brilliant sun – a glimpse of light in the opening of the year to come

light portal - key west lighthouse - florida

seeing all beauty in light on this quest..

top of the lighthouse - key west, florida

the circular spiral, the stair is the passage of space and time, experience and energy, light and beauty

windows in the lighthouse cupola - key west, florida

an inspiring opening to 2011, a hope whispered in the wind – to see more light in all things

shaft window - key west lighthouse, florida

to see all light reflected, refracted, magnified, spectral – the pure energy of being alive

fresnel lens - key west lighthouse, florida



feathers, architecture and beauty

Posted in architecture, flying, symbology, Uncategorized, wings on August 22, 2010 by dacarc

i’ve been captivated by the perfect beauty of form, function and symbolism of feathers.

i’ve been collecting them and studying them for years. universally powerful symbols in many cultures – the egyptians, druids and native americans, have all used feathers as symbols of higher wisdom, enlightened being. this story by the canadian native “whirlwind” is a powerful telling of holding the strength of the bone of the feather.

recently, i started a new journal with one – a premonition of the flight, and of the soaring that has come. to me, it was a reminder – be ready to fly with the wind that is coming.

when i look closer, i see the perfect balance of resilience, strength and grace in a feather.

flying, floating and holding – with the simplest beauty.

lifting in the winds, floating on wild seas, beading the rains, holding warmth.

what perfect architecture a feather would be.

the vanishing point

Posted in architecture, drawing, energy, java, light, lighthouse, memory, new york, seeing, senses, time, trees, Uncategorized on April 24, 2010 by dacarc
lighthouse stair – shutter island cgi

  how far back in your mind do moments exist before they disappear? 

high line park - northern expansion, new york

 how distant is what we see before it all vanishes from sight? 

georgetown brewhouse facade bracing - seattle

my son has been reflecting on the increasing distance as he looks back on memories of earlier times , places and experiences – and how they recede in scale, almost disappear. his thoughts sparked more reflection on the scale of things that we see, and how they recede into the distance, and then – – vanish altogether? 

new york subway - 5th avenue

the fundamental principle of architectural drawing is this — everything is seen in relationship to the vanishing point. in essence, it’s the center of everything, that point of nothing. all matter is stretched out on a grid from there – horizontal and vertical lines, all tying back, infinitely shrinking, disappearing completely from sight. vanishing.

hanalei pier - kauai, hawaii

 where is it that point? it’s where your eye is drawn, at the center — or, at the farthest periphery. 

banyan tree - central java, indonesia

like a black hole – everything and nothing in convergence. in looking deeper, and wondering, as we experience the world, what sense do we really have of the present? if none of the five senses work in the moment – as they are delayed by our sensory limitations – are we living in the past? is time merely a concept of relative perception, not a reality? if we could subsume our sensory input, would we have some other existent reality – in the present? and would we feel the matter that is manifest, in the moment? would we have clearer vision? would the vanishing point even exist? 

chihuly boathouse - lake union, seattle

maybe not. maybe we would experience a transformation of perspective, an opening to the energy of all that is. rather than a vanishing point, an infinite expansion to the universe.

yesterday's sunrise - jfk, new york

 that would make us the vanishing point.

sunrise - new york taxi

lighthouse series – #1

Posted in architecture, light, lighthouse, symbology, Uncategorized on March 26, 2010 by dacarc


phare du four bretagne - jean guichard


over the past few months, i’ve been studying lighthouses. a gift, a book on the history of lighthouses ignited my renewed interest. the power of the symbolism is universal over the span of time and culture, and though many ancient lighthouses have been lost, there are hundreds – thousands – still standing. holding hundreds of years of history, and the stories of those who have created them, lived in and cared for them – magnetizing and capturing our dreams as they have for thousands of years. 


roker lighthouse, england - jonboy 247


 the metaphors are powerful – a fire-tower, marking of danger. a beam of light shining through dark, stormy seas, dense fog, crashing waves and ripping winds. standing tall, unwavering and courageous, struck from the edge of the earth. life saving, light-giving beacons to the windswept wave-battered vessels lost at sea. the images are stunning, and it is seemingly impossible that these structures can stand and shine in the midst of the wild forces of destruction that surround them.

and those keepers live there, too.


la jument lighthouse wave - brittany, france - jean guichard


 this image is captivating at first glance, and more so in reading the story of the rescue of the lighthouse keeper. with the speed of the oncoming wave and the keeper standing at the open door, it is amazing to hear of his survival. maybe the most powerful metaphor of all – the symbol of life in the face of death, of our smallness, and strength, against the awesome forces of nature.


newhaven lighthouse, sussex coast, england - reuters


the deeper i look, the more there is to learn — i’ve collected at least a dozen books, from construction details, lighthouse maps from europe, the mediterranean, and the pacific coast, historical references, light technology (the fresnel lenses alone are a lifetime’s study), and the stories of the keepers and the events – tragic and transformational.


whitford lighthouse - england, angus macdonald


this beautiful tapered cast iron lightouse constructed in 1865 is endangered, and nearing collapse. the range and beauty in the design of lighthouse structures all over the world is captivating – it would be more than a lifetime’s journey to go there.



west point lighthouse - alki point, seattle


in exploring them – their landscape, design, siting, and climbing up to the light – i’ve started the journey, beginning with the one nearest to home – the point robinson lighthouse on alki point in seattle (closed for the winter), then west point lighthouse at discovery park at the edge of the magnolia bluffs (shrink wrapped for restoration), and then the kilauea lighthouse on kauai (tower closed).


kilauea lighthouse - kauai island, hawaii


now on to more journeys and for going deeper, and climbing higher, to the towers and lanterns. now for storm-swept, or fogged in, or darkest night forays when the light – the heartbeat of the lighthouse – is shining bright.