I’ve been struggling to keep momentum this summer, due in part to the lack of car and the heat which makes me fall asleep after every hour of reading. I haven’t been working the usual part time job at Hy-Vee and I didn’t get the gig with Metro Arts so my income has been purely guitar lessons and lawn moving (no royalties there). I have been putting off talking to the church about an addition until I have the appropriate AutoCAD work but I think I need to do it soon – that or go back to Hy-Vee (which I still consider ‘giving up’). The last run of firms I dug out are in no need of work, or simply refuse to return my calls and emails.

So far this summer I have read ‘Subnature’, ‘Dirt’, ‘Architecture in Context’, ‘The Thinking Hand’, ‘From Models to Drawings’ and am in the middle or close to finishing ‘A Dance With Dragons’, ’11 Exercises for the Architect’s Imagination’, ‘Heating, Cooling and Lighting’, and a novel I just started today called ‘Blueprints from the Afterlife’. I ordered a book on the effects of natural lighting on American’s which I am excited to start. Apart from playing guitar and the occasional drawing/model, I have no real purposeful means to apply what I’ve been reading – which may be okay since most can be used as well as reference books, but I would like to keep my ‘thinking hands’ engaged as well as my heart and mind. Too much theory will make even the simplest tasks seem daunting and pointless, I must restore a balance. I have seen 15 movies, each one better than the last – but usually watch them alone and am reminded of ‘Bowling Alone’, the book that depicts the decline of social activities, a new kind of ‘isolated culture’.

I assisted a K-2nd grade drawing/mixed media day long art class at the Figge Art Museum this past Friday and will do so again this Wednesday and Friday – I found it to be rewarding. A girl named Adelia drew me a castle  (I can’t help but notice that the generation of artists I dealt with had wonderful names…Carver, Audrey, Sophia…I used to think ‘Matthew’ was unique until I went to college and was one of four on my floor alone). I showed a few of them how to draw what they were interested in, but I used pen which they found ludicrous considering how easy it would be to make a mistake. I couldn’t help but notice how the projects were designed to reach similar conclusions – ‘paint a background of stars, then paste one a foreground of planets and space ships’. I personally don’t think that’s appropriate, but organizing a group of 20 kindergartners isn’t easy so explicit instructions might work best (at the end of the day I think programs like this are generally intended as babysitting for progressive minded parents). I realize drawing is something you can hardly teach, but I find providing the appropriate inspiration and demonstrating little tricks here and there can elevate one’s abilities fairly well early on. Surprisingly there were a few other interns my age providing assistance as well, however they felt a little absent.

The Figge is such a great space – haptically, ‘somatically’ – the proportions really feel good. I wonder how long before those kids really start to question their built environments, the places that they don’t realize are continually framing their lives – if they had the chance to make it better would they? I feel like the dreariest of places can still be healthy with the appropriate company and mindset, which shifts,adds and displaces certain pressures pertaining to my interests in architecture.

Here at home the dog is frustrating. I enjoy walking him, taking him to the dog park, but I can’t help but notice his boredom-the prolonged sighs, the move from sofa to carpet, the stretch followed by the move back. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t see my frustrated self in his actions and countenance. He needs open spaces to flex his muscles appropriately, a more ‘nourishing’ milieu – as do I.

I’m linking a new song –

I know none of this really matters, that in August I will happily return to an overwhelming life, reunited with similar minded people, but at the same time no one likes fillers on their albums – existing between what’s ‘really important’ hardly feels like existing – I need to be a little more proactive about changing my perspective. Thanks for reading



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