Spirit of Rivendell
Kenneth H. Snell
01 Aug 2018
Image Credit: Ken H. Snell
Architectural Credit: Ken H. Snell
Sketch and text by Ken H. Snell, Architect (retired)
This post is part of our summer 2018 blOAAg series, Summer Sketches: Capturing the Essence of Architectural Ideas.
Here on the shore looking out over the horizon
where water meets land and sky
where past meets future
time meets place…
as the river slides by
all is in flux.
Where my dreams touch the earth
this is my place.
Some people see sketching as a commodity or an object to be traded, bought or sold. I see sketching as a way of being in the world. It is a way to be with the feelings that the process of sketching reveals to the sketcher. Sketching, in its gestural quality, provokes thinking. It is a way to record what was on your mind at a certain time of your life. Sketching makes invisible ideas visible. Therefore, by translating gesture to line it transforms the abstract into something concrete. The poetry and sketching together in combination is a way of capturing this complexity and layering it so that some things get teased apart while others get overlaid.
Both the sketch and the poem were inspired by a daydream and my reflections on the place I call home, Rivendell Cottage, located on the Credit River. The larger poem “Dreaming”, edited here for brevity and submission, and the image are part of a book I am currently working on called “What is House?” which explores the phenomenology of houses. It is a work in progress that I cannot seem to put down. It keeps growing as I sink into the subject of houses. Our relationship with them is so rich and diverse and meaningful. Each page of the book has a poem about houses and our relationship to them paired with a corresponding sketch or photograph that I have taken from around the world. Some of the poems had a previous life as a fragment of a lecture, a daydream or a response to what I was reading at the time. I have been building this “archive” of photographs, sketches and poems for about twenty years. Now that I am a retired professor and no longer a practicing architect I have had time to compile and edit it properly, fully immersing myself in this project.
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