Frank Lloyd Wright @ the Victoria & Albert Museum

Finding wonderful examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s furniture while traveling in London was a surprise.
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1955 high-back chair designed for John Rayward House (“Tiranna”), New Canaan, CT. Philippine mahogany, vinyl-cloth upholstery.

FLW Table
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High backed chairs
 The greatest surprise was that the museum had purchased this office whole and shipped and reconstructed it as an exhibit.  The work was very fine, the lighting not so much.  My husband thought they were attempting to preserve the color of the wood by limiting the level of lighting in the displays.  It was a nice feeling of home for an architect abroad.
Edgar J. Kaufmann Office, 1935-1937, Pittsburgh, PA
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Frank Lloyd Wright designed this office for the owner of one of his most famous designs, Fallingwater, client & owner Edgar J. Kaufmann.
The Edgar J. Kaufmann office seating, desk area, wall paneling detail below.
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This office is now on public display as part of the Victoria and Albert Museum in England.
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Cover of Time Magazine from the period from whence these designs were created.
Fallingwater in Winter
Afterwards I went hat shopping
London hats
Later we stopped for lunch
Dan London lunch
The view at lunch
London rooftops
Merchant Prince & Master Builder, an article published in Inside Carnegie magazine (Carnegie Museum) which explores the relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and his patron, Edgar J. Kauffman.  Apparently, he was the owner of a department store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   The office pictured above was a part of Fallingwater itself.  For more information, and a few pictures of the Kaufmann family, including one of Kaufmann in the office itself: Explore PA History website.  This last site is a good, concise single page post.
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Bhagavad Gita: Fear not what is not real


“Fear not what is not real, never was and never will be.  What is real, always was and cannot be destroyed.”

The Bhagavad Gita


“In principle and in potential we are immersed in good for we are in the Mind of God. But we have freedom, or volition, to create in our own experience, out of the possibilities of life with which we have been endowed, the prerogative of heaven or hell. So we need to shake ourselves loose from the tyranny of fear and superstition and isolation and the emotional traditions.”

The Spiritual Universe and You

Ernest Holmes


Beginning anew is the key to waking up. If we keep trying to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result, even we begin to suspect our mental state as a hellish one, while we may not yet grasp who is at cause in the matter. Of course, we are always at cause in our experience and this is a difficult thing to consider when we are going through a rough patch.

If we start anew, we can begin again to directly experience this environment of good that is our natural home. What if all that other stuff we experience is something we have made of the good opportunity that we are given? One of my early Religious Science teachers, Rev. Dr. Dominic Polifrone, used to tell us that “Everyone goes through hell from time to time, but that’s no reason why you should stop and build your house there!” Each of us lives in alternating states of present awareness broken up by intermittent periods of unconsciousness—not all of them deep sleep! The practice of affirmative prayer, and the supportive practices of contemplation, spiritual study, service and mindfulness in our everyday lives begin to lengthen the experience of present awareness, or consciousness, little by little until those around us actually have easier lives as a result of the spiritual transformation that occurs in us. I believe that we know we are doing well when folks around us begin to have improved lives.

Not long ago, I was talking to someone here locally, and the practice of humility came up. I believe a true, deep, and spiritual humility arises in us when we realize that we are truly made of Divine stuff and we begin to tell the truth of who we are, making no more, and no less, of the lives that we are given. The more we allow God to be God in and as us, the more amazing the things that we are able to do with our lives; the more the people around us reap the benefits of what we (You, God & I) have wrought with the opportunity of life itself.

And, of course, we all screw it up from time to time. We get grumpy, impatient, tired or find an infinite number of other ways that we can block our divinity its full expression. You can fill in the blank for yourself here; you know how it looks when you get off track. From time to time we need renewal and self-forgiveness. I urge you to take a few minutes to release all feelings of failure, frustration, denial, or any form of self-rejection and judgment you may have held against yourself. We cannot begin anew and hold any form of grudge against ourselves or another. Picture yourself releasing it as a small boat on the river of life. Allow it to sail away beyond the horizon, forgiven, released and then allow yourself the respite that only such forgiveness can grant. Let it go. Don’t waste time making yourself wrong.

Wake up. All is well!  What you are afraid of is not real.


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Poetry: THE CARTOGRAPHER’S WEDDING

This I share for Dan. Our friend Melanie Bassett read this favorite poem at our wedding 24 years ago last New Year’s Eve.  We were, against all odds, still hopeful for a good married life after my three failed marriages and his divorce after eighteen years and four hardy, smart and challenging McMullen children. He was nearly 52 and I was 40. It’s hard to be hopeful when you’ve seen more failure in your relationships than anyone ever warned could happen. Those failures want to force cynicism into our hearts like cement hardening us, making it more than a little difficult to hang on to any part of our innocence.  But we tried: I put on my brave-flowered dress and Dan matched my call with his tuxedo, Father Charlie donned his robes, and we try and we continue to try, and we have succeeded.

Dan Garter

Our Wedding

Our Wedding at Father Charlie’s House in Pacific Grove, CA


The Cartographer's Wedding by Sam Hamill_1981

THE CARTOGRAPHER’S WEDDING


Nobody knows what love is anymore —

not the groom in his rental suit

flushed with desire, not the bride

blushing in her one-day dress and flowers

smouldering with the fires of expectation.

Nobody knows, and I least of all.

.

Still, we are here, against all reason,

the products of that ancient spoken

or unspoken vow.  To the east, across

nearly insurmountable summits caked

with snow, the Great Plains rise

and fall while we continue to remain

steady as November rain, having grown

accustomed to a cold that never freezes,

to a shade of deep, spectacular green

intact, season after season. And so we find

ourselves outside in fog, in hoarfrost,

in rain or snow, living as we do

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at the edge of a continent or a dream,

living perhaps with our hearts

not in our hands, but on our lips,

although they are seldom spoken.

(Friendship hereabouts is assumed

like an old mackinaw or a blanket.)

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But that time comes, and it will come,

when you try to recite the names

or find the odd, almost familiar faces

that move beyond the old events, like fog,

that made you what you are.  The years

that disappeared like falling stars

are lovely to remember.  And there will

be time aplenty for flowers on a grave.

No, nobody knows what love is.  Nobody

understands the past.  Saddled with

all the hopes that will outlast

a lifetime’s dedication, we,

.

groom, bride, friend and friend–

we step into the day amazed to find our-

selves among companions eager to weather

the winds of change that turn us

heavenward, poor fools together,

never to learn what love is, we

.

who map the country where it lives.

  Sam Hamill, Fatal Pleasure,1984

 Breitenbush Books, Portland


Low Tide @ Lummi Island with Clue

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Spring is evident every where we go right now.  So we went to Lummi Island, one of our favorite places to visit, a place that is always on Aidan’s list when he comes to stay with us.


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 The tide was way out…further than we’ve ever seen.
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It was the warmest day on record in Bellingham.  What a great day to play and hike around the Lummi Island shores.

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Little tide pools and places that had been hiding sea life for centuries were open to our view.

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We saw a multitude of  sea snails, giant barnacles and mussels clinging to the rocks…

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A visit to Lummi Island has a tradition that we have been observing since Aidan was old enough to come on trips to visit without his Mom & Dad:  dessert and a Clue game or two at the Beach Store Cafe.
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Some family traditions are all about fun, AND DESSERT!

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 After Aidan wins one and Grama wins one, we make our way back to the car, and then the Ferry Dock
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From the Whatcom Chief we can see Mount Baker sixty miles away on the horizon enshrouded in the high clouds.

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The Pacific Northwest has its pleasures, a warm Spring afternoon on Lummi Island is certainly one of them.  To share such a rare day with our grandson was unforgettable.

All photos were taken with my old iPhone 3GS.  If only I had steadier hands…

BEING OF SERVICE: Compassion in Action

“Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and the angels know of us.”     Thomas Paine


I don’t know about others, but I know what it means to have a “reputation.” That’s what we called it in high school when a girl was thought to be sexually active. Never mind if it was true or not. I was one of those girls and I can tell you, it is really weird dealing with the product of empty gossip, or what was described in law school as arguing facts not in evidence. What people say about us often is the result of idle conversation and gossip. Even people who know nothing about you will talk. Whatever “they” might say, it has nothing to do with what we know of ourselves.

BEING OF SERVICE: Compassion in Action

After the death of Thomas Paine in New York City on June 8, 1809 the newspapers read: “He had lived long, did some good and much harm,” which time judged to be an unworthy epitaph. He left a tremendous philosophical legacy, but in his day he was vilified for a few mistakes.

thomas-paine

When we mean to be of service, whether we get a reputation for helpfulness or for failing to help often has nothing to do with what really happens. This is the legacy of many who are of service. You may not be known for what you do — do it anyway!

Garden Path

While there is no need to hide the nature of what we do, as some people want to do for religious reasons,  if we are looking to become “known” through acts of service, we could well ask ourselves, “What service is there really for those being served?”

In any case, we can’t control what others say about us anyway. Finding the true joy of self-expression in service is it’s own end. When we serve we share the opportunity to express what is divine, or best, within us–and with those with whom we share the experience. Nobody else really needs to know. We can’t prove we are good people. It isn’t our purpose and trying to prove how “good” we are only points to our doubts about ourselves.

Remember, it is your own character that is among your riches, for you are divinely made, and no matter what “reputation” you might enjoy — you know in your heart of hearts  is true of you. Enjoy that knowledge and celebrate it in offering your hand in the equation that service represents in our lives. Service is always some part of what is best about living expressing perfectly through, and as, you!

Perhaps someone reading this can share ways that they have been of service that have contributed to their own sense of self in unexpected ways.