Monday, July 20, 2009

nature & artifice seamlessly joined

Carol & Peter's home as cathedral

“in their dwelling, they love the earth”--Lao Tzu

nature and artifice are often at war,
when we build houses, schools, and businesses,
forests and slopes are often subjugated, tamed, cleared, bulldozed--
the triumph of the horizontal and the right angle
over the chaos of curve and serendipity,

this week I have found a home in Jackson Hole, WY,
where owner, architect, and worker lovingly worked
to imagine, design, and build a house
friendly to its environs,

(a view from above the house)

this valley lush with grasses, trees, wildlife,
below mountains whose presence asserts and ennobles,
and the house is comfort, friendly to the user,
more important, the house is as a cathedral
whose high ceilings and windows pull the eye out and up unto the Grand,
onto pond & creek, flower & grasses--
herons and elk abound and feed,
along with a plethora of lives after lives,

walls and ceilings built of great grey-aged lodge pole pine
and quarried stone from an old Idaho creamery,
as in a cathedral from floor to eave a great window
frames God’s hand in snow-capped mountains beyond,
the high summer exuberance below,
the view even more beautiful to me
than the great stained-glass stories of human manifestations of the divine,
every window in all the rooms opens out so that the great beyond readily manifests,
that beyond where nature goes about her business
and which can resonate in what is right within us
if we open ourselves to what is open before us,
here we do not exist as conquerors of the world
but rather as subjects, worshippers,
reminded so every moment by the structure of the house,
its furnishings, the way it enlarges us,

(just out the front door)

we do best when we remember that we are not God himself or God herself,
rather that we are part of God,
and it is best when we remember
how fit it is to fit within the glory beyond us.

by Henry Walker
July 17, ‘09

1 comment:

Ike Walker said...

I really enjoyed the last line. A fitting conclusion.