Once school starts a lot fewer exciting things happen on a regular basis, which is why I’m writing in this blog much less than I did during the summer when it seemed like everywhere I turned there was something new and exciting and worthwhile. This semester has not been especially busy up to this point, there’s just not as much going on worth writing about. My daily life is: wake up, go to school, come home, go to sleep, repeat. I don’t mean for that to sound like a complaint, it’s not really since I like what I’m doing, but it’s just how things are right now.
My thesis work is getting more in-depth and more involved as the weeks go on. My thesis deals with film montage theories, most specifically intellectual montage as done by Eisenstein, Godard, and others, and how the consciousness and way of seeing things that comes from montage theory can affect architecture. So far it’s been really interesting to me, and I hope it is to my professors too. I’m learning more about architecture of course, but a large bonus is I’m learning more about film theory (which I already knew a bit about) and Marxist/Hegelian dialectics (which I didn’t know anything about). Right now I’m in one of the writing and reading phases; the design phase comes next semester.
My elective this fall is something to be excited about (funny how my electives are always my favorite classes each semester). A small group of us is working to design and build a temporary “tea house” in the Japanese/wabi-sabi tradition, which will be installed at an art gallery downtown at the end of October. We had our first meeting last Friday and quickly saw that since we are in the American South our design should be a “sweet tea house” and will deal with the front porch/hospitality tradition seen all over the southeast. Since the Japanese tea house is centered around hospitality and the tea service ritual, we feel like there are connections to be made between that and the ritual of serving guests sweet iced tea on a porch. Besides liking the localized irony and humor in making a sweet tea version of the Japanese tea house, I’m excited about being able to design and build something again since my experience in Vermont was such a special one.
The art gallery I’m writing for is nearing its first exhibit and I’ve written my piece for it. I’m fairly happy with it, although I may go back in and revise things/tighten it up before the exhibit opening. We’ll see how I feel about it as the date approaches. But it was really nice to write something again just for pleasure. Nice to be able to mold words to create the feeling I wanted to create, and nice to see that I can still call upon my memory, vocabulary, and emotions to create something with only words. Projects in school are either graphic representation or academic writing, and I enjoy getting the chance to just write for a change.
My grandmother has been in a nursing home for the past few years, and she is getting closer and closer to death as time goes on. When both of my dad’s parents died I was away in Nashville, so this is a new thing for me to watch someone who is so special to me slowly and relentlessly move towards a very different and unknown kind of life. There might be days where she is doing better than other days, but it’s apparent things are winding down. I think I can say my family is strong in its personal faith, and we are not afraid of what might happen to my grandmother after she dies, but I would guess it’s causing us all to think a little more about life and death, and this world and our relationship to it. I know it’s causing me to. As I think about my relationship to my grandmother over the years, and as I talk to friends about our lives, and as I listen to certain musical artists, I become more and more convinced that this life, for as long as we’re on earth and around other people, should be about nothing more than love. Simple, basic love for others. Wanting happiness for them and being happy when they find it, wherever and however and in whatever big or small amount. There is nothing else worth concentrating on for as long as we’re alive.
Thanks for reading this blog.