Sunday, February 19, 2012

Letting Down and Waking Up

Lake Michigan on Saturday from the plane - the frozen lake. get this book if you like ideas about architecture,  humanism, and consilience!

Whoahhhhhhh.....chillin in New York. Arrived yesterday around 2:00, went to our favorite local place, Beygolu, for the yummiest grilled shrimp, salad and hummos. Then we walked back to the little apartment after buying chocolate and gin and coffee, three of the four food groups, right?

Then, with every intention of taking a little nap then going to the Metropolitan Museum, I fell into a deep sleep under the down and awoke groggy and well into the evening. At which point, it was very clear that there was no going out. So we tucked into our chairs and - honestly - watched a re-run of Whitney Houston's funeral which, really, felt like an exquisite Broadway show. Alicia Keyes,  Stevie Wonder,  Kevin Costner,  Dionne Warwick....and the most amazing gospel choir I've ever imagined.

Then, off to bed, reading a crazy book that is making my mind spin toward what I can only think of as CONSILIENCE.
Here's what I know about that word:  Definition / Background of Consilience

The book is DaVinci's Ghost and I picked it up at the airport because I thought I had forgotten my book by Robert Fritz called Creativity at home. You know when things just sort of seem like a huge synchronicity in life????

This was that.

We are headed back to Florence in April this year and have invited friends who have never been to Italy. So excited to share it with others. We have hired a local Florentine to do a little lecture followed by a walking tour of one of the monasteries and the Palazzo de Medici. This guy is so amazing! He is an attorney, but does this history of Florence on the side.  He is funny and smart and has perfect English which is really impressive. So I have Florence on my mind.....

And, it seems sort of reasonable to read about DaVinci, right? The Florentine? I pick up the book, never having heard of it. No "New York Times Bestseller" that I can see on the dust cover.

Well, this is truly one of those mind-blowing reads. It is the story of the road to the moment when DaVinci drew the Vitruvian Man - you know, that guy with his arms and legs spread within the circle and the square. The story goes back Greece and Rome at the time before Christ....and involves architecture and man and the gods and the interplay of it all - just mind-blowing cool, making me think and see and perceive in a way that one might experience on what I might imagine is an acid trip which I NEVER did while my other friends did. (I was, instead, cooking for them.)

This book was making me look out of the plane at Lake Michigan and see the frozen concentric waves at the shore beneath the clouds. And I was so struck by the structure of the forms. Of the beauty of the forms.  The photo is above. Look closely at the "lines" of the lake.

I began to understand how to see the relationship between the human body and our built environment. The body is the cosmos in human form and scale.  And the history of our architecture is this story. But, today, we have mostly forgotten this language.

If you are interested in how there is some kind of unity in all of life, pick up this book.

Then....I dropped once again into a deep sleep in our tiny bedroom, under the down. And woke at 8:30 in the morning to cappuccino and the New York Times and, once Lee left for an errand, I did my Italian lesson and then went to yoga. Bliss out. Enjoy the holiday.

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