what I do

what I do

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Design, gardening and a good book

Besides design, I have a passion for gardening and reading a good book. Saturday I was able to experience all three. I don't often design exterior spaces, but every once in a while I will help an established client. And so when I was asked to help pull together the front courtyard of a house that we had just had painted and new lighting installed, I pulled up my sleeves, put on my gloves and went to work.


It was a beautiful sunny day in Southern California and it was a pleasure to put together some new container pots with beautiful flowers. I told my client, "this is my favorite kind of accessorizing!" Because when I accessorize the interior of a house, say, the living room for example, I can go back in that house in a few months and it will look the same. But with flowers, they take on a life of their own and you can never fully expect what they will do. And that is the fun of it; I love to watch the new plantings evolve as they will.

I am also reading a book that a friend gave me this year - a reading for each day. It is an inspirational book but more than that, because it is written by an author that challenges me and I like that.
The book is by Phillip Yancey and is called, Grace Notes. It is compiled of excerpts from twenty-some books and even more articles that Mr. Yancey has written over a few decades. I thought that I would share what I read this morning with you and maybe it will touch you as it did me.

Yancey, reflecting on his visit to St. Peter's Basilica:

"Michelangelo, arguably the greatest artist who has ever lived, later confessed that his work had crowded out his own faith. As his life drew to a close, he penned these lines:

          So now, from this mad passion
          Which made me take art for an idol and a king
          I have learnt the burden of error that it bore
          And what misfortune springs from man's desire . . .
          The world's frivolities have robbed me of the time
          That I was given for reflecting upon God.

Perhaps. But Michelangelo and others like him have through their labors helped turn us from the world's frivolities and given us time for such reflection. For this one moment inside St. Peter's I had inhabited a glorious space not on earth, a moment of time not in time. Art had done its work."
From "A Goad, a Nail, and Scribbles in the Sand."
First Things, February 2009 (38)