Thursday, September 15, 2011


Be like water the Tao advises. I remember that advice because it blew my mind when I first read it in high school. With all the talk of molding young men and sculpting minds that was the pedagogy of my school, and having been the object of said molding and sculpting, I experienced a deep relief to know that I could be like water;

"Water never resists, Water accepts all. You don't have to compete."

Funny, this advice came in handy while building a bridge the other day. In the plan, the bridge was beautiful, elegant, harmonious and balanced. In the field, it was not going to work because a hard gravel base 3 feet below the surface of the water with giant stone interspersed through out the soil made it nearly impossible to get the proposed configuration. The spontaneous evolution of the bridge reduced the impact to the wetland by only sinking two posts instead of four in the wettest area, and created a strong connection to the rest of the landscape design features through the granite cribbing used for steps. By letting the genius of the moment work with the combined experience I shared with Bryan, the carpentry sage, the bridge functions on a physical level to go from point A to B without getting wet, and on the metaphorical level as well. Be like water, and you don’t have to get wet at least some of the time. 

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