Sunday, January 25, 2009


Water is both tangible and elusive. It can flood a house into ruin, but fingers cannot grasp it. A still lake can hold a mountain's reflection, but a raging stream consumes the mountain's image. Water is impermanence incarnate—a vehicle of every-present change. It is a teaching in surrender—following gravity's pull along the contours of terrain while never losing its essential nature.

I love sitting by a pond or a bay and opening my mind to water. My breathing settles. Muscles relax. The light rippling on the surface of the water flows into my eyes and falls on the silent consciousness behind my thoughts. Between my eyes and the inner silence, thoughts ripple through my mind. The rippling on the water and the rippling in my mind flow together. I and the surroundings become a unified, fluid reality. The solid world flows. The fluid world becomes more vivid than any solid object. Water consumes all, is all.

Sometimes, when I'm designing a roof or an arrangement of walls, I think of these encounters with water. I look for openings to make the seemingly hard, fixed boundaries of stucco, 2x4's, insulation and sheetrock as fluid as water. 

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