you take the spirituality autobahn


you leave the city
and take the spirituality autobahn
all the way
until it becomes a two-lane highway
then turns into a low speed road
then bumps and potholes
and finally a dirt road, smooth at first,
then quickly its unevenness rocks you
almost brings you to a stop

you don’t want to go any further
but the road curves up ahead
so you go

now the dirt road is barely identifiable
overgrown with old thick weeds
nearly impassable with rocks and small boulders
but you go
and then the road, if you call that a road,

you get out of your vehicle
and enter the woods.
there’s a path.
you take it.
you look back, you see the way out is now gone

yet there is a path to follow
you feel found
you find some stability

until the path starts to lose definition
at times you’re not sure you’re on any path at all
you start looking for a path
you imagine you’re on a path
in your mind there’s a path and you are going

then you meet someone living an ordinary life
you talk about your path
he says you’re not on a path
that there’s no path here

in the distant there is noise
it seems to come for you
it is a city
you are in a city
a big city
a beggar asks you for a dime
a priest wears a prominent cross
a stranger is driving your car

and you realize something:

that you are in the pathless land

Three Moods

Photos taken in Nova Scotia


Not-separateness is the degree of connectedness an element has with all that is around it. A thing which has this quality feels completely at peace, because it is so deeply interconnected with its world. There is no abruptness, no sharpness, but often an incomplete edge which softens the hard boundary. The element is drawn into its setting, and the element draws its setting into itself.”
– From


Geology, Interconnectedness, and Architecture

Photo: Sand Dollar Beach, Nova Scotia

I just happened to meet Dr. Jacqui Malpas and her husband Rick while wandering along Sand Dollar Beach in Nova Scotia, Canada. They are British and currently live in New Zealand. Dr. Malpas allowed me to record her descriptions of the local geology as well as her thoughts on the political climate within the U.S. and the U.K.

Related to these political views, she shares her perspectives on global interconnectedness.

We also chatted about the possible relationship between the geological outcrops before us, and architecture and building, though that conversation was not recorded.

Listen to Dr. Jacqui Malpas:

Photo: Dr. Jacqui Malpas


Photo: Jacqui Malpas and husband Rick


Photo: Sand Dollar Beach, Nova Scotia. Geological outcrops. The outcrops feel like ancient architecture. In some ideal sense, it might be suggested, an architect could align with the natural forces of earth to design and build structures that feel as organically interconnected with the planet — and planetary forces — as these outcrops.


Photo: Sand Dollar Beach, Nova Scotia. Geological outcrop, greater detail. The pock marks indicate where sand was blown through the rock eons ago.


Photo: Sand Dollar Beach, Nova Scotia. Note the structural parallels between the three prominent outcrops on the left and the house on the right. Are the similarities coincidental or does this photograph illustrate an expression of common fundamental tendencies within both the Earth and the architect/builder toward a certain geometrical expression?

Further exploration

Nova Scotia Geological Highway Map



Geology of Nova Scotia


To pursue the architecture track, the following article could be a good start. I encourage further study of Christopher Alexander’s work: