Blog archive January 2004
been an interesting week. i've been having a rough time at work this month, overstressed, long hours, feeling out of my depth and frightened. my annual personnel review happened on wednesday so i had a chance to say what i thought about my discomfort with my job, and indeed my career in architecture as a whole.
but it's a good idea to give your employer a way forward, so i went in with a list of things i wanted to do and develop that would also benefit them. and i got the lot. plus very positive feedback on how i'm performing in my out-of-depth situation. which has relieved my stress levels and given me confidence. so i'm doing a better job - a virtuous circle. it made me realise that i've never had much positive feedback or support in my career, which accounts for a lot of my fears/neuroses. it makes a huge difference when somebody says "well actually you're doing a really good job" - frees me to be myself in the situation instead of trying to live up to some imagined competence and failing and fearing everybody's response and all the mistakes i must be making but won't see until disaster strikes.
thanks to all those who prayed and to god for giving me what looks like an open-ended career opportunity. it's weird how they don't want to sack me. i tested the bond with my negatives, and they still wanted me. i didn't match up to the official job description, so they set aside the job description. now i need to grasp the chances i've been given.
if you had to tattoo one blog entry on your body, complete with markup, what would it be and where?
on friday evening i needed some time out for myself, so i called in at tate modern on the way home to see the weather project again. it's become as much a social phenomenon as an artwork. people lie around on the floor, chilling out in the misty 'sunset', gazing at their reflections in the ceiling. they make letter shapes with their bodies or swim around on their backs. there is a murmur of amused talk and quiet laughter. people arrive, exclaiming and smiling, join the quiet party while others get up and drift away. the mirrored ceiling stretches the full length of the hall to the main entrance doors. one can watch the far-off reflections of people entering, seeing them stare and point and make their way down to the front. sometimes my brain flips around and it's as if i'm hanging from the ceiling, which is a little bit frightening since the floor's a hundred feet below.
the space makes me think of a cathedral, and i'm wondering how it would be to do this in one - what if a church were like this, a chillout space with people drifitng in and out just to lie down and have some peace and amusement? the labyrinth has allowed me to lie on my back and gaze at the spectacular ceiling in two world-class buildings, st. paul's cathedral and king's college chapel, cambridge, and i can vouch for the pleasure of the experience. it's a popular thing to do at vaux, too, which has a good carpet and a good ceiling. but it's not a normal mode of using church spaces, the floor is maybe dirty and you'd get funny looks or hassle. but what if it were? come in, lie down for half an hour on the floor cushions, look at the beautiful ceiling, watch the other people, flop about with your friends, read a book. watch your reflection, if they've put up a mirror.
work hell so few entries atm
actually we were doing celtic body prayer but i couldn't resist a shot that would make them look like raving charismatics :)
here's my proposal for a spiritual signage system to enable spiritual mapping and navigation of the city. wayfinding, if you like.
that stuff about 'easy listeners' in '1967' is so much based on my parents. ok a lot of it also comes from my years on church councils and so on, but my parents are my close-observation source for that generation. spending new year's eve with them is a reminder of this. we watched jools holland, and their reactions to the musical guests is instructive. they have an allergy to anything raw, dissonant, beat-driven, guitar-soloed, repetitive, basically any musical idiom to speak of since the late 60s. their tastes stretched as far as jumping jack flash, then it was a kind of brick'n'elastic scenario, dragging back towards the 1950s with gathering pace in recent years.
i say jumping jack flash because they love 60s stones, but when primal scream came on and did their 1971 stones thing my parents hurled insults and switched channels. which illustrates nicely the break point. they hadn't heard of primal scream of course.