The Chandelier Tree is a wonderful intervention just over the hill from where we live. Six couples have stood under it to get engaged, according to The Eastsider. Hopefully we’ll see more public creativity like this in the coming years.
Many thanks to reader Maribeth for turning us on to this subject, and sharing a great video. I liked it so much I had to share it with you all in turn. She sent us this nice short article on Colossal, which has an overview, more photos and some good links to explore, as well as the video I’m embedding here.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken ceramics with gold or silver lacquer patching which emphasizes rather than hides the break patterns. The resulting piece is often more beautiful than the original, an embodiment of wabi-sabi, and an invitation for meditation on beauty, loss, transformation, wounding, scars, entropy… The responses, I suspect, would be as individual as the viewer.
This art-of-mending seems related, somehow, to the “oh no, it’s the end times!” stuff Erik and I were blogging about last week (here and here). Kintsugi is such a subtle, wise practice. It’s not about fixing something good as new, as if it had never broken, but acknowledging that breakage, and making something new and beautiful out of disaster, via the practice of mindfulness. Perhaps we can learn something from this.
Please do check out the video–it’s short and beautiful. In it, a young craftsman explains the rising popularity of this 400 year-old art form in Japan, says, ” …people are realizing that chasing after money and new stuff and new technology will not make us rich in (s) spiritual way.”
I’ve recently discovered a truly inspiring housing development in Davis, California. This is not new news–it was built in the 1980’s, but it’s new to me and worth sharing.
Village Homes is the brainchild of architect/developer Michael Corbett. It encompasses 70 acres and 200-some homes. It has all the space and privacy that brings people to the suburbs, but it’s designed with considerable intelligence. For instance, the homes are all designed according to passive solar principles, so their heating and cooling bills are considerably reduced. Some have even have green roofs. But more interesting is the landscaping, the massive network of bike/walking paths and the creative use of public space.
The entire development is essentially a big food forest. All of the rainfall is captured and instead of being directed to the sewer system, it runs to swales between the houses, to nourish fruit trees. The resulting space is a lush park full of edibles, from exotic jujubee trees to grapes to almonds. Residents can stroll around in the abundant shade and pick fruit at will. Only the almond crop is off limits–the almond crop is harvested every year and sold to support the the gardening services for the entire development. There are also community garden space available for those who wish to raise more food crops than their own yard space allows. The lush growth coupled with the reduced asphalt surfaces makes the whole development 10 degrees Farhenhiet cooler in the summer than the surrounding suburbs.
I could go on and on, but perhaps the best way to get a feel for it is to watch the 10 minute video above. It’s hosted by Permaculture guru Bill Mollison, who’s a big fan of the development. It’s well worth the time to watch it all the way through.
Also, here’s a short paper on the development, which gives all the pertinent facts, friendly for quick skimming: Village Homes: A model solar community proves its worth.
And finally, here is a video someone took during a site tour given by Michael Corbett, the developer. It doesn’t have as many visuals as Mollison’s video, but has some good insider tidbits in it, as well as discussion of some of the other features of the development, like office rental space and day care.
This stunning garden sculpture is by an Australian artist, Brett Martin. I love the way it hovers over the grass and, best of all, swivels in the wind. Martin says,
I try to use as much recycled materials as possible. I used salvaged timber from building sites, a swivel chair, old table base, many hundreds of tin cans collected from neighbours and 5000 pot rivets. I live at Congo, the south coast of New South Wales and based this 3.5m beauty on a sighting about 4 months ago. I just had to immortalize it.