The Architecture Dicipline

The Architecture Dicipline

People, if the are not involved in the construction industry are amazingly impressed when you tell them you are an architect. It’s the arty profession, maybe not quite as altruistic as a doctor, not as boring or slimy as a lawyer, the one people like the character George Costanza want to be; the kind of person someone like Mary would like to be with. Architects may not get nearly the play of doctors and lawyers in movies and TV dramas, but that is probably for the best considering how misrepresented they tend to be.
Most people don’t realize the hardship that being an architect can be. They haven’t been told the tales of the long years of late nights in the studio, years of getting minimal pay during internship, the many long architecture review exams, the grueling dissection of your creations by professors and visiting jurors in university critiques, the even worse clients that imagine that they know what they want and need and how to design it and you’re just there to draw and rubber stamp it.
For all the tedium and repetitiveness of the practice, for all the years worked on projects whose funding disappears before construction, the frustrations of not being to find work during economic hard times (unlike doctors and lawyers), there is something about architect that has seemed to infect my brain like a virus. I remember a point in my second year of the professional program at California College of Arts and Crafts that I realized I was deconstruction and diagramming the partí of buildings in my head as I drove up Guerrero from 16th Street to my tiny apartment on Lily in the Lower Haight. I was in essence never able to look at a building the same way again.
There is also a calm joy or peace I sometimes feel working on a design that can be difficult to equal with other pursuits. I have been able to get it from painting at times, and less frequently with photography or graphic/typographic design. Something about spatial and visual compositions is soothing to me.

pain comes from within

pain comes from within

self inflicted pain
appeared suddenly wednesday

chained to my desk with invisible irons of dependency
on a job I hate, with little vision of possible alternatives

I feel I am in an airlock. Vacuous, silent.
Unable to cry for myself, even though I feel on the verge of tears.

I continue to attempt to muddle through. I put myself in this situation. I take responsibility.
I dis my pity-party. Spoiled little brat, why can’t you be happy with a nice boring job? Flashback to being 14, and feeling alone, abandoned, desolate.

Hard as it is, I attempt to focus on my efforts to change my life to better suit my special talents. My attempts to learn construction management with a bureaucratic job are clearly a misadventure, if one that paid my mortgage.

How did I not realize that I exist to love, not to police government contracts. A rather incomplete use of logic. This is what happens when you focus on the prize and not competition. It is always the action that should be its own reward.

The vacuum is deafening in its silence.

My desire for creature comforts like food and shelter is ridiculous. I wonder why I have all these desires to create, to teach through art. Is it as necessary as clean air, clean water, life? Probably nothing is necessary, everything just is what it is.

I am surrounded by beauty, but it offers cursory solace. I pray. I meditate. I jump through hoops. I walk on fire.

I wail to my friends and followers:
some days are so painful all you can do is love the hurt away. I love you all.

Sometimes I attempt to find peace with society, but it is a temporary fix.

I question my friends:
“What was is yesterday that so totally messed with the psyches of me and my friends? Some electro-magnetic radiation disturbance? :-?”

Random useless questioning.
Get over it my child. Cause matters not. Besides, weren’t you the cause?
Wasn’t I the one feeling the pain, just because I’m bored and I feel like my talents are wasted? Seems entirely self-serving.
My self-esteem is such I have a difficult time remembering I am a gift to the world.

I wish I could say my sadness was from guilt that I wasn’t fulfilling my place in this world by sharing my genius, but it’s not that altruistic. I lack the pure joy of creation, which drives and satisfies me like a true love.

It is time to move beyond enduring pain, beyond pity, and into action.