I think I saw the quintessential California detective look, coming from the Beverly Hills police station. Sporting a light gray suit, possibly a cotton and linen blend, crisp pants with a groomed white beard. Topped off with a white fedora styled with a light cream ribbon going around to show the shape of the hat to the proportion of his head. As his skin is slightly tanned with hands wrinkled still able to write but swollen from excessive use. And then carrying his aging frame are a pair of light brown, modestly spent leather shoes with dark brown shoe laces. Not flashy with holes along the binding but rather a loafer style with a slight point. Californians, am I right?
You might think i’m selfish
you might think i’m rude
you might think i’m picky
you might think i’m a prude
you might think i’m a bitch
you might think i’m cruel
you might think i’m mean
you might think i’m a tool
you might think i’m not listening
you might think i’m unaware
you might think i’m disrespectful
you might think i’m not here to care
but whatever you think you need to stop,
& start listening to what I say.
For if you don’t do this favor for me, there is
no relationship, from today.
Did someone call Architecture as a form of creativity? Became a real theme near the end of a historical conversation between Thom and Bernard. These two icons in architecture have been creating everything from small living homes to large scale cities with landscape design. So to see them speak at the local public library was a real treat.
At the end of the conversation, they argued in a very open way, about how creativity is so loosely said and mentioned with regards to architecture. I couldn’t help agree with that notion when it comes to writing. Recently, I completed an online class, “Beginners in Creative Writing,” where the entire time, all I was told was: write anything now, then come back to it and add dialogue, plot, edit the grammar, and boom! You have a story. Seems kinda simple, nothing a few afternoons can’t handle. Except it’s not that easy or “creative” because like the architects with their medium’s of brick, glass or steel, they must too impact the reader of the structure like I am to impact the reader with my text. Bernard mentioned how in the 70′s, architecture moved away from “life in a vacuum” and became more a part of the whole. No longer did a project stand alone but became a part of the landscape and the city itself. Like writing, we see architecture take on a more social art role. Speaking for the changes in society. As a refreshing way to look at objects as more than “what it was, to what it is now,” (Tschumi, Bernard) as the changes and the way we capture those changes. Writing seems to be a strong part of that too, whether it is in the print media or novels.
Another phrase that grabbed my attention like the smell of roses on a spring day would have to be when Bernard said that architecture is, “a spirit of challenge and imagination.” Immediately, I thought of all the days I am strapped in front of my laptop trying to find a catchy new way of talking about a topic that we’ve discussed with friends and families time and time again, New Year’s resolutions. It was for a friend’s blog, a non-fiction piece, where I quickly realized 1) non-fiction is not my calling and 2) it is difficult to come off as not plagiarizing. And even as I digress for a moment, I think it is important to think of how it is challenging to be imaginative. Sometimes people find it easier to just write out the facts, hand it in and get a grade. Where I find that is too routine and built on structure but some will argue, that you really can’t go wrong with writing non-fiction in academic settings. But with regards to online blogging, it becomes exhausting and too close to repetitive to hear yourself hype-up an often times played out topic. Of course now after hearing this conversation, it seems so obvious how architecture and writing are similar in the area of challenge and imagination.
Furthermore, there seemed to be a connection of architecture to writing, when Thom referred to his work as a, “willful act versus chance in space.” Also, he kept referring to his work as a ‘thing’ like a ‘mold’ and you just keep working and changing it over and over again, till it feels fluid and makes sense. He continued to elaborate on one of his pieces saying that during the process there were changes in material and new hallways would show up in the work, something he did not anticipate before he started the piece but came up with during the process. When he was explaining the process, it reminded me of how it feels to write poetry. You feel like you have a strong feeling of how you want the piece to come across but with a very limited time and space to speak to the reader. You don’t want your piece too long where you lose your reader and not too short where they can’t hear the tone of the voice. He finishes his thought by reminding us of his work, how it is best not to have any repetitions and to look again at each section to see what changes can be made, which is exactly how you want your poem to be. Clear, strong and stand alone.
Overall, the discussion had both architects agreeing that true work will be: Complex, Content, Context and Concept (Tschumi, Bernard) working in sync together. Therefore, a good piece will be complex for the person experiencing the structure, with the content being clear with the use of the structure, then the context to the surrounding environment in that time period and then finally, making the concept such that people can appreciate the effort put forth. One can argue that this an excellent formula for writing. Where if one is coming up with a piece for either, their loved ones, print or submissions, that it becomes a combination of these 4 elements. Where if one expects to test the editors and other readers, they should put the story next to these 4 criteria, for maybe then, we wouldn’t need to be putting so much emphasis on creativity.
So instead of doing a course about what it takes to be creative, I should have been listening in on courses on how to create buildings. Maybe then I would have a better foundation to then lay down the walls of the chapters and to then bottle up the warm feeling with a strong structured roof. So until I build my house full of words, I will continue to submit blog posts about cool conversations. This way I can show how writers, architects and other artists that the art is not about one medium, one force, on structure, but rather a combination of work and a collective consciousness. Then we can all sit back and appreciate good work in both a private and public setting.
“Just throw the money on the floor, you know that slut will pick it up” Steve said to Andrew.
Andrew looks at him and smiles, it’s no secret that Andrew no longer loves his girlfriend and just keeps her around for the sex.
“Knowing her, she’ll make me feel guilty for not picking it up for her, that manipulative bitch” He looks across the bar and sees her sitting next to Dave at a table outside. He knows they’ve been getting close, he just doesn’t know how close. He wants to ask Dave if he’s sleeping with her, but that level of disrespect will push Andrew over the edge. Nevertheless, a guy like Andrew can’t seem to deal with the possibility of them two together, but it would be a good excuse to ditch the bitch.
He’s just tired of her in his life. This last month it seems like nearly every night she comes to him crying and demanding him to tell her how he loves her. Andrew cooperates and tells her he loves her, yet it is no longer out of compassion but out of routine. A few nights ago, Andrew took a few moments longer than she’d like to respond to the question, and so she threatened to kill herself. What she didn’t hear was how he didn’t want to say he loved her anymore. She was selfish like that, even in her threats.
“Dude, you know she’s fucking Dave,” Steve says, snapping Andrew out of his daze.
Andrew stares at the two standing near a table. One of Drew’s hands is on the table and the other on his glass. Andrew took no comfort that Dave’s hands weren’t grabbing onto his girlfriend. “I can’t watch this shit.”
Andrew puts his glass down on a ledge and picks up an empty glass from an adjacent table. He lifts the pint glass and throws it to the ground, shards scattered across the concrete slab. Steve looks to Andrew as Andrew holds the bottom of the glass in his palm and heads in her direction.
“Hey man, she’s not worth it.” Andrew hears him but did not turn back, his rage wouldn’t let him turn back.
She looks in Andrew’s direction, nervously she nudges Dave, who is now face to face with Andrew. Andrew moves Dave aside and presses the shard of glass against her face.
“Tell me, have you been banging my girl?” Andrew screams, without taking his eyes off of her.
Dave stood there, not shaking, shocked or concerned but rather relieved, “yeah.”
Andrew put the broken pint glass on the table, “Get your shit out tomorrow, never come back.”
“But baby, we can work this out.” She pleads.
“Baby NOTHING!” Andrew watches as the realization sweeps over her face that there was no working things out.
Steve watches Andrew walking to his bike and got ready to ride out, he hands Andrew his helmet.
Andrew jumps on his bike, turns the handle and kicks in the clutch.
“She’d never make a good old lady anyway”
“She won’t make a good anything.” Andrew says, before peeling out of the parking lot.
Only here the ornament shops remain open, only here I felt this way about Christmas.
The carefree nature of putting together dishes, mixed with the obsession of folding napkins.
For even as this is a last-minute plan, there are no last-minute details.
First we place the sharp brown spice within the ham, based only on our tipsy estimation
Butter melting, prepping for basing, with only indulgence at its calling.
Our husbands linger around the corner, remaining out of sight of the main course.
But to then be tortured by the scent of smothered meat, for eagerly they must wait.
Us ladies base, peel, cut and chop the final touches, for trimmings beautify the meal.
With candid talks as the wine keeps pouring, fun gets to be a key ingredient.
Finally it is time to enjoy the cliche: “the fruits of our labor”
As we prep the table with fixings, as the napkins are ready to come undone
Our tired eyes, our tired feet are ready to have a wonderful meal,
which are all the moments I remember, when I walk into these shops.
The laughter spent, the honesty shared and the warmness from the oven.
For even many miles away, for each of us, tonight we bought Christmas home.