play in the dirt

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Total Nedster

In my mind, Ned and I had similarities.  We were/are very outspoken and sometimes, perhaps, too much so.  We'd get ourselves into hot water but would do it again in a minute.  When you have a fire inside, and you speak the truth, you just have to do it.  I remember you saying to me one time after some homeschool drama, "No good deed goes unpunished".  Yup.  The world is sure a crazy place, but it's also a beautiful place.  It's all about us, the people, and the love that makes the world go around.  The rest is Silly Putty.  
Diane Connors

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

THE CALDRON. Supreme good fortune. Success.

  All that is visible must grow beyond itself, extend into the realm of the invisible. Thereby it receives its true consecration and clarity and takes firm root in the cosmic order.
50. Ting
The I Ching

Ned will forever be in my heart as a man who made me see my self worth and opened my eyes to painting. His insights and horn playing are etched in my mind, along with a love of cheap wine. Simple things that he taught me like how to carry out the trash are still part of my routine. Thank you for sharing with me so many years ago and still today. ... Memories of being with all of you have shaped who I am as an adult and as a parent.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ned's notes on house

Luz and Cassidy and I are certifiably eccentric. No doubt.
It is an obsession: A place to be.

Orderly, Beautiful, Classical, yet Unique, non-fashionable.
Non traditional yet with roots, and sensible.
Astonishing (daring) in its honesty with respect to directness in how it serves my (and our family’s) needs and not the “housing market” nor the zoning laws nor the neighborhood’s look.
Open character of interior

Secluded from street and neighbors --
modest appearance, but with presence - even flair.
To match the New England climate and spirit, the house will be closed, tidy.
The house is integral part of the lot, respecting the shape of the land, the trees, rocks --
Integrated with the sun, the seasons, respectful of winds, storms, heat, cold -- all positives & negatives.

It must protect the family’s privacy -- entry should invite, yet only in stages - to the hearth.

It will be self-sufficient as practicable. Passive by nature active when necessary. Solar this and that will be integrated to the max.

Food production is high priority -- large vegetable garden(s), orchard, berries, edible landscape, etc.

Modesty - unassuming, unpretentious, probably gray stained exterior -- shape is hunkered.

Symmetry will be only subtly perceived, and its purpose here is partly to make the construction easy to understand and perform.

Symmetry is broken immediately by the 45 degree theme which becomes apparent even before entering -- the visitor is put on notice to be alert and aware. This is going to be different. (The hope then is to deliver on the promise by rewarding the occupants and guests with a strong sense that the place is for certain people -- not merely an expression of construction practices.)

I want it to be an experience just to stand or sit in there -- I’m going to spend lots of time in there and I don’t want to depend on the outside scenery for something to see. It must be changeable, like a museum. (I.M. Pei National Gallery to me is a good living room.) Sculpture, flags, paintings, gardens, books, mobiles, with accessible storage, work surfaces, room to move around, play trombone, swing your arms -- do T’ai Chi. Good music will be better in a large space and accoustics will be good where surfaces are not parallel.

The design gives me shivers. (I believe [now - Dec 1990] that this style will be followed. Can that idea become a career?) It expresses my urges extremely well, and keeps getting better.

... adaptable to smart house technology ....

One level -- no upstairs, no cellar.

The whole house is - the - living - room ... So it should glorify and promote our well being. It will nourish us, please us, surprise us, delight.

Its construction, its bones, should show, demonstrate their work, and their material.

Nature should be at hand. The local ledge will participate along with the trees and shrubs & flowers -- even wildlife.

Views will be taken full advantage, but need not throw themselves at us.

Lighting -- natural and artificial -- a personal passion ... I want to watch the movie, not the projector.

Strong influence from Japanese -- the sense of order and simplicity, respect for nature, yet a wish to translate that sense into American, -- our essence.

It keeps being square in plan -- the urge for the classic, the eternally simple idea. Sit in the center of a square. Start with that -- and keep that -- then vary the theme. The trick is to keep the variations and playfulness from being too strong. Keep it rooted and useful, modest yet inspiring.

Dominant living room; dining area & kitchen integrated with LR. Other areas off LR are greenhouse (sun room), studio (T’ai Chi) with Japanese garden view;
MBR -Northeast exp.
Kitchen - East view -morning sun, bread table, gas cooking, double sink, ample workspace & storage & recycle
LR View of all directions -- South predominant for light
Fireplace, sunny part with plants -- serene.
All rooms will have dead space -- no thru traffic.
In LR, seating area will be out of traffic.
Vestibule entry - coats, lavatory, also covered porch.
Recycle rain water, gray water
Solar heating, hot water, electricity
“Grow hole” (winter greenhouse)
Various heat, cooling, ventilation systems
interior -- sheetrock is fine -- it’s the backdrop for form and structural features and some careful woodwork & stone, etc.
used doors, old posts, fixtures, hardware, found art and artifacts are welcome.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gerard J. Roy photo

I Am Bone Tired
Lyrion ApTower

I am bone tired from traveling that last hard mile with you.
The blasted holes and smoking stumps along the way
have drained the sun from me.
So heavy, so heavy--this weight of tears, this burden of love.
Yet were you to ask, my heart would leap
and drop all trophies to walk with you again.
How flimsy is weariness when balanced against
One more glimpse, one sound, one touch of you?

Come back! There are still more words to find,
more heart to open.
My conceit decrees that it is not Your Time
Listen--I will say when--and it is not now!
And who am I to decide your date? I will tell you.
I am the one who washed your feet,
wiped your sweat, smelled your fear,
And still held on. I am the one who loved beyond pain,
through exhaustion,
past stench, beyond doubt.

Yet if the sands of time in both worlds were poured out for me
Could I stop your coach from its homeward journey
or ease the wrenching of your death?
When the sun is gone I look inside for illumination
At the dark of moon a question forms slowly--
For whom do I mourn?
You--now whole and free, dancing in the light;
Or me--wandering my hard last mile
without your frail arm to guide me?

Lyrion ApTower, HPS 1998
We'Moon '09
Gaia Rhythms for Womyn

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Peggy Clifford

I knew Ned for 50 years. I loved him on sight and I still love him.

He was perfect.

Even his imperfections were perfect. As you may have noticed, he was bald, but in his presence, men with hair looked over-dressed.

Talent was in him like light He could have been a great painter, a great architect or a great designer, but he had no interest in the either/or concept, or limits of any sort.

And so he made brilliant paintings. designed striking buildings that derived from no “school” but his own, conjured and made furniture that renders all other furniture obsolete, and he was a professional golfer, a teacher, a ski instructor, a businessman, a politician, a rancher, a writer, and a fierce advocate.

He didn't do all those things at once, though he almost always did several things at one time, but he never seemed to be in a hurry. In Satchel Paige's words, Ned “jangled gently as he moved.”

Ned was a pluperfect anti-politician. In 1970, he and Hunter Thompson ran on the Freak Power ticket in Aspen/Pitkin County, Colorado. His platform was a visionary, but practical program for preserving both the pristine wilderness and the unique character and small scale of the town. Its simplicity and logic were dazzling. As residents rallied in support of Ned, business and real estate interests launched an ugly scare and smear attack; Freak Power lost by a narrow margin. 26 years later, Ned made another foray into politics as the Libertarian candidate for governor of Connecticut. The primary plank in his platform was, to put it as politely as possible. school reform.

Ned lost the election, but children and parents won a passionate, eloquent champion. In newspaper columns, a blog and on public access TV, Ned had at the schools and the people who run them. His last book will be published next year. Among its possible titles is “a dangerous man,”

Ned was dangerous -- in the way that Jefferson and Thoreau were dangerous. And that's not bad for a former captain of the Yale golf team.