arrangements

The morning is extra cool and fall like. It reminds me of the first day of school, when the flow of the day is arranged differently to accommodate a whole new schedule, and the anticipation of new rhythms makes sleep the night before almost impossible. Something has shifted. I find that my gaze is focused on things closer to me this morning, tactile, viscerally a part of each step taken rather than the sweeping views taken in that typically occupy my awareness at this time. I am seeing arrangements of things that have me stopping constantly to capture the image of what I see, stones arranged across the brook for crossing,

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recently living and long dead co-existing,

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architecture of the natural world,

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even a camouflaged woodland serpent.

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The sightings and imaginings are constant, entertaining for the richness of beauty felt. It is fascinating to me that the infinite number of arrangements in nature can provide such fertile ground for imagination and creativity.

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Of course these arrangements are not actually arranged. Or are they? It’s fun to consider how each captured view is divinely orchestrated for that moment, for a message, a knowing, or simply a spark of deeply felt love and appreciation. Or to consider in contrast arrangements made by human intervention. As an architect it has been my job to make intervention by human arrangement. And it always gives me pause. To commit to stone, literally, an arrangement of forms that might last for generations has always felt like a huge responsibility and one that I have not always been comfortable with. I am much happier discovering order within an existing context and feeling the inspiration for how to gently introduce a change that might be required. I find that the important question to be asked with each design is, how will this be able to change and transform over time?

The forest sightings change second by second in ways I will never see. And they change minute by minute just based on the quality of life that is experienced. One minute Nora is there, the next minute she isn’t and it changes the entire feel of the place.

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One minute it is just the two of us on the trail and the next minute Nora has a new playmate Bodie who leads her into a wild chase through the woods while his human and I wait and make small talk. It is fascinating to consider the social arrangements found here in this place as well. It’s all about the dog, their ability to engage and romp for a brief time and then move on without exchanging names or giving the interaction a second thought. Yet something always changes from these interactions, the reverberations of energy spent providing inspiration for something else to be felt and seen differently. Here it is not ‘arrangements for’ or ‘arrangements by’ but simply arrangements of….

I’m ready to drink my smoothie. It is an arrangement of frozen banana, fresh kale leaves, two fresh apricots, some raw almonds, a heaping teaspoon of Spirulina algae (kept in the freezer), chia seeds, a splash or maple syrup, and coconut milk blended together into a particularly creamy mixture this morning. It is very green. I set the glass on the table and note the arrangement of it’ shape and color against the backdrop of manmade pots and green foliage outside the window.

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There is satisfaction in this sighting of a certain arrangement of things here at home too. It is about pleasure after all, and the anticipation of…

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