Inspired ~ Truth, Humility, Service, Gratitude, Beauty

15 05 2015

2015 AIA National Convention Keynote

Bill Clinton

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to attend the opening keynote program of the 2015 American Institute of Architects National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme of the convention this year is “Impact,” and all of the talks were created to underscore that theme. The featured keynote speaker was former president Bill Clinton, who was amazing to see and hear, of course. Surprisingly, I was just as inspired, and perhaps even more by the speakers that preceded him in the program, all architects, and especially Moshe Safdie. As an aside, I am not an architect myself, but I did attend architecture school at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where I met my husband, who is a licensed architect. We met while both serving as officers in the student chapter of the AIA, AIAS, and we first started dating at the AIAS National Convention in Chicago in 1988. So, we are grateful for the AIA and the field of architecture for bringing us together! Even though I did not end up becoming an architect I am an avid enthusiast of architecture and good design in general, and I accompany my husband to many activities, functions, seminars, and conventions. I also am a professional photographer, and although I did not specifically set out to make my specialty architectural photography (my photography hobby at the time I started my business was mostly landscape and floral photography), that’s the area where I receive most of my commissions.

Back to yesterday’s keynote and Moshe Safdie: although the talks were focused on the “Impact” of architects and architecture, the theme and inspiration could be applied to anyone in any field. How do we impact others? How does our work impact others? How do we impact our environment and the world? What is our purpose in what we do and in life? Safdie wrote a book in 1982 entitled “Form & Purpose.” He closed his talk by reciting a poem from that book. They are memorable words of timeless relevance:

He who seeks Truth
Shall find Beauty

He who seeks Beauty
Shall find Vanity

He who seeks Order
Shall find Gratification

He who seeks Gratification
Shall be Disappointed

He who considers himself as the servant of his fellow being
Shall find the joy of Self-Expression

He who seeks Self-Expression
Shall fall into the pit of Arrogance

Arrogance is incompatible with nature
Thru the nature of the universe
and the nature of man
we shall seek Truth

If we seek truth we shall find Beauty

~ Moshe Safdie





Gaviota Peak 2013

18 02 2013

View to the east from Gaviota PeakView to the east from Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota Peak
Ceanothus on Gaviota PeakRyan and Maya Amid the Ceanothus at Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota PeakRyan and MayaCeanothus on Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota Peak
Ryan Amid the Ceanothus at Gaviota Peak

Gaviota Peak 2013, a set on Flickr.

Here are a few photos from my Gaviota peak hike last Saturday (Santa Barbara county). It was gorgeous day, and our native ceanothus shrubs were in full bloom and covering the peak and surrounding hillsides. The aroma was amazing! Additionally, it was a clear day that offered 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside – rolling oak covered hills, the Santa Barbara coastline, the sparkling, blue Pacific ocean and the Channel islands in the distance. This is one of my very favorite hikes on the California Central Coast!





Liquid Sunset

9 07 2012

Image

This is part of my Arroyo de la Cruz photo set on Flickr.





My New Photography Web Site

20 06 2012

It’s fairly basic, but my new professional photography web site, Michelle C. Torres-Grant Photography,  is up & running!





Cirsium occidentale var. compactum (Compact Cobwebby Thistle)

30 05 2012

A highlight of my outing to Arroyo de la Cruz at Hearst San Simeon State Park last Saturday was seeing this cute little pokey plant, which also happens to be a rare endemic native. I added 5 photos of it to my Flickr photo stream. It was picturesquely growing near a bluff over the Pacific ocean.





San Miguel, California

14 05 2012

So after 4 straight days of being on-the-go I’m taking a break in the middle of my east coast vacation and working on some old photos (I’m always backlogged!). This set was from almost a year ago. After hiking the Balconies cave and cliffs loop at Pinnacles National Monument, we stopped in San Miguel for a quick visit to Mission San Miguel and dinner at the Basque Tenth Street Cafe. Click here to see my complete Flickr photo set.





Come along for a ride… It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!

29 04 2012

“My soul blows crazy on the sails of a ~ derelict wind”~ from Good Love, one of my favorite tracks on the new CD by Lance Taylor, “American Love.”

So for the past 6 months my job has been to drive every paved, public road from Santa Maria to the Salinas valley plus up Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur. I have about a week to go, and then my job assignment will be finished. Yesterday I was driving down this remote road off the Salinas valley enjoying a gorgeous spring day and listening to my singer songwriter friend’s new CD (Lance Taylor of Key West). I really love his music and new CD, “American Love!” I spontaneously decided to take this video with my iPhone as a souvenir of this fun job, and to preserve such a lovely memory. I never did see another car on this road. The video is a little shaky, because it was a rough, country road, and I was driving with one hand and holding my phone cam with the other. Look carefully, too, and you will see all kinds of critters in the air and on the road throughout the whole recording.

Check out Lance’s music on the Lance Taylor Music web site: http://www.lancetaylormusic.com/








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