Sunday, September 20, 2009


I haven't had much desire to read or write lately.

This is not particularly new as I have now observed the same thing occur more than a few times in my life. I think I've mentioned before that there is an amazingly useful value in perspective. It is just that for some things there is no way to achieve it without experience.

In my reading life I have several books underway and they are all interesting so the blame yet lies with me. Unfortunately you still have to read in order to understand, too. Maybe Apple or Amazon or Microsoft will make something that you plug in your ear (painlessly please) and a few nanoseconds later you've uploaded and understand the digital content.

On writing I haven't had much to say. It happens.

In my business life we are working on two actual contracts for land. Our Target deal is dead for now at least which is the way of current retail.

So I am spending an enormous amount of time on planning -- master planning it is called. It means we are attempting to actually plan the use for the entire 130 acres remaining of our old farm.

I find the process to be both exceedingly engaging and extremely difficult.

For one thing the process requires me and my associates and family to all individually think about what we like and want and hope. What kind of buildings do we like and what do we hate? What makes us proud and what disappoints?

Then there are all these practical considerations of engineering drainage and traffic and what might sell and what can we finance and what can we actually do.

There are details -- a myriad of details.

I've been driving around looking at all sorts of residential developments and office parks and apartments and retail centers. So many, in fact, that they have begun to blur together in my mind. Then I've been reading everything I can about "new urbanism" and creating enjoyable public spaces and so on.

It seems to me that all projects begin with a feeling of being overwhelmed by the size and complexity of the thing. That is followed by the chaos of synthesis of so many different and divergent ideas.

Then at some point there is this moment of clarity when the chaos dissolves into a set of principles that lead to differentiation of tasks and processes.

I'm not there yet but I feel it drawing near.

In the meantime I am off to shovel horse poop.


Lori1955 said...

I'm overwhelmed just thinking about all you're talking about doing. I hope the chaos clears soon for you. For now though, shoveling poop sounds just about right.

rilera said...

I find that those easy tasks are the ones that clear my head so that I can wrap my mind around more complex issues.

Sorry to hear about Target :(