Charles, Thankyou so much for your voice and your work and this essay. As a middle class white guy brought up in the suburbs of Connecticut over 50 years ago, I can relate to your beginnings and formation and the ways of being indoctrinated into a civilization that the architect Frank Lloyd Wright said had no culture of its own. There is a brilliant 1950s interview (so relevant today) of Wright describing his views on this –
Fast forward to the present and I have been living in the UK for more than 20 years practising the profession of architecture in a very small way and only recently in the last 6 years, found my way to ceremony via singing and meditation. This relatively recent practice has been healing and transforming - first for myself, and then in degrees has radiated out to my family and friends and as well to my work where I endeavour to try the best I can to promote a type of architectural design that is based on a love of nature and endeavours to protect and enhance biodiversity.
It seems to me undeniable and inescapable. Some say the earths biodiversity will be determined by what the present generation does over the next 20 years. This confrontation of western culture with Gaia, this Anthropocene age which we are all a part of and currently living in.
There was at a time when I was unsure and anxious about semantics and symbols and narratives, and how I couldnt see myself fitting into any kind of spiritual tradition. I was concerned with explanations and layer after layer of ideas/explanations/histories and a friend said just focus on the source, on the now, on the indescribable – where its all coming from. I wrote a short poem about this on instagram:
To me, it is about the source, and its about gratitude, wherever you come from and wherever you were born, it is ancient and everyones birthright, it is part of nature and part of us.
May 30, 2019