Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Tribute and Prayer for Our Neighbor Japan

From Seattle's Japanese Teahouse Garden in the Arboretum
Although across the Pacific Ocean from us, Japan has always felt like a close neighbor. Seattle (and the Pacific NW) and Japan have a long history--both cultural and economic--and the tragedy of the recent earthquake is affecting many people here in our area.

Reading about the recovery efforts and seeing the photographs is heartbreaking, especially considering the loss of life. Seattle is earthquake country too and it is sobering to see just how much devastation a quake can create.

Oddly enough, I find myself reflecting upon my own personal connections with Japan--or rather, Japanese culture here in Seattle.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Contain Multitudes…of Houses! (Part 1)

With apologies to Walt Whitman and the grammar police, what I really mean to say is that, house design-wise, I feel that I am the sum total of all the experiences I have had in my lifetime with houses, gardens, and architecture in general. But you can see what an awkward title that would be!

I started thinking the other day about influential spaces and moments in my life that have informed my attitudes and values about what makes a house a home. I’m organizing my ideas around a concept borrowed from a favorite book of mine, “At a Journal Workshop” by Ira Progoff.