Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Touching Architecture's Soul

A gleaming cube of glass and steel shimmering against the sky can dazzle my eye and glow in my mind. Curling up on a cozy sofa can soothe my heart and ease my bones. Yet, there are folds in my being that seek out the currents of the soul, places where I feel truly alive. Throughout my life I've been drawn to places were I touch those primal currents. I'm not sure what pulls me there. It's not to fantasize about idealized days of yore. It's not to find some solid ground in the shifting terrain of the contemporary world or to solve an esoteric puzzle. It's not to escape the confusing questions about how to live a sane life in an insane world. In fact, it's the opposite.

When I descend a rough wooden ladder into an ancient kiva or climb a mountain of steps to a hand carved temple, I encounter forces that are hidden by the distractions of modern life. I remember that much of what we do is an attempt to escape these elemental powers animating the world. Pressing schedules, flashy entertainments and constant focus on problems keeps us feeling in control or that we had better get in control. When I sit on a granite ledge in a dimly lit cave shrine, feel the cool air on my shoulders, and listen to utter silence, I re-enter the womb of raw life force. I experience an outer, physical structure that reflects and resonates with the silent, still core of Being within me and the world.

Why I do this, what it means, what is the effect, I don't know and don't care. These concerns come from the part of my brain that believes life is better when everything fits into a neat, little box. Luckily, as sure as the ocean tides ebb and flow, the indescribable currents within me seek out and flow toward places where I can touch the silent/humming of the soul.

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