Saturday, January 24, 2009


I've spoken with rocks all over the world. Mostly, my feet do the talking as they navigate the story lines of stone pathways, stairs, bridges and floors. Often my fingers listen to the messages textured into walls of granite or marble. Sometimes, I take out my journal and write down what my imagination hears during a direct conversation with the stones my road has crossed. 

Once at the Greek site of Mycenae, I sat on a limestone block in the beehive- shaped Tomb of Clytemnestra. "We wanted to express the design and structural possibilities hidden within us," I imagined the massive stones saying as they arched from the floor to a central apex 30 feet overhead. They continued, "The builders wanted to express the design and skill hidden within them. Weaving our desires together created this marvel."

Most of the time, we encounter Earth in building materials with a lecture, not a dialogue. We know what species of wood or type of stone we're looking for and find it. Or we discover a plank of cherry or slab of Italian marble and sculpt it to our preconceived idea. The result is architecture that reflects the human mind, but excludes the hidden delights and wisdom of nature. 

Instead, selecting and crafting materials can be a dialogue of discovery. While you create a design by inquiring, "How do I want to live?" You can include the materials you work with and ask them, "What do you want to become?" By weaving their desires into yours, the result just might be a co-creation, revealing possibilities beyond what you could have expressed on your own. 


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