Monday, August 27, 2012

Learning from Nature

Antoni Gaudi, the famed and celebrated architect of Barcelona, once said 'The great book, always open and which we should make an effort to read, is that of Nature.' I saw this in his architecture, sinuous, geometric; mimicking the natural world and celebrating its link to greater wisdom.

On Sundays, I usually make an effort to go to Columbia Road Flower Market. While initially I thought it would be idyllic, a pastoral promenade of sellers offering carefully tended blooms, I found, instead, a boisterous scene, full of people, and populated with the most vociferous (aggressive?) flower merchants I have ever seen. Over time, I have grown to love their funny ways and their gruff manner; at the heart of it all, are some magnificent flowers (at some great prices).

My roommate and I purchased a climbing Passion Flower plant at Columbia Road six weeks ago and I continue to marvel at its strangeness and its ability to thrive. It seems to send out the most delicate tendrils, yet, once they clasp on to the trellis, these slim stems coil round tightly and become incredibly strong. Within a month of sitting on our shared balcony/corridor, the plant had surpassed the trellis and is now reaching upwards. At first, I was perplexed at what to do, but this Sunday I had the idea to string twine  across from the outdoor pipes, giving the Passion Flower plant new lease on life, a new path.

There is something incredibly instructive about plants. There is only so much you can do. Give them water, give them light, give them structure; what they do, how they grow, is up to them. You can only take care of them so much. And so life teaches me that there is only so much I can do, the rest remains with faith, what unfolds can bring marvel if you let the unexpected take its path.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Glorious summer angels in Barcelona, above on Gaudi's original facade of Sagrada Familia and below at the Columbus Monument.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Apologies for the unexpected hiatus. In the UK, moving flats will do that to a blogger. When it takes three weeks or more to get your Internet set up and functional, blogging from work or on an iPhone just won't do. A lot has happened in the last 6 weeks -- new apartment, new job, a trip to Barcelona, plenty of sunshine -- some photos and reflections soon to come.