John Muir Project: Morning Drift through Princeton University’s Aesthetic Spaces


GPS trace of a psychogeographic drift through Princeton University and photographs of art along the path.  I felt very random this morning.  I needed to do laundry today, so I went to the CVS to get some detergent.  I left my room early, so I had time to photograph some of the interesting features of the Princeton campus.  One of the striking aspects of the walk was that I resigned myself to loose some control of where I was going.  I relaxed and did not rush directly to CVS, after all what’s the point if the store is closed any way until a certain time.  The central feeling I got from my random walk through the campus this morning was that of feeling the sun’s gracious warmth on my face and body.  One of the more important aspects of being human is embracing nature for all she is worth, even if one is in an urban or semi-urban space.  I hypothesize that careful exploration of spaces in random manners can be used to ground the spirit and bring one closer to God.  “The labyrinth is a walking meditation.  It is a tool that enables us, in the midst of the busyness of life, to be still, and to focus our thoughts and feelings.  Labyrinths can be found in cathedrals all over Europe and have been used by Christians for hundreds of years as a means of experiencing God’s presence and as a metaphor for walking on the journey with God.  The labyrinth is not a maze.  There are no tricks to it and no dead ends.  It is a single circuitous path winding its way into the center.  One uses the same path to return from the center.  That path is in full view, which allows a person to be quiet and focus internally.  As you enter the labyrinth, pause to center yourself on God’s love and grace.  Clear your mind.  Become aware of your breath.  Along the way, you may pass people or let others step around you.  The path is two ways; those going in will meet those coming out.  Learn to share the space with others.  Open your heart, be still, be silent, and enjoy the pilgrim’s walk.  The labyrinth walk has three stages: 1) A Purgation or letting go of your worries as you begin the walk 2) Illumination or experiencing God’s presence at the center 3) Union or giving thanks for all the blessing of life as you walk out.  Some people come to the labyrinth with questions, others come to slow down from a busy life.  Some come to find strength to take the next step.  And some walk during times of grief and loss.  The labyrinth may be described as a path of prayer, a walking meditation, a crucible of change, a watering hole for the spirit and a mirror of the soul.  Final Thoughts: Maintain silence throughout your walk for your own reflection and that of others.  Move at your own pace.  Feel free to pause any place where a delay feels right.  Do what feels natural.  Remember, everything teaches.”  Labyrinth instruction from Hephzibah Prayer Trail flyer.

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I continued my recitation of quotations by Ai Weiwei around his art space:

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About kayaerbil

I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is moving into the area of working on developing appropriate technology for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal is to use simple and effective designs to empower people to live better lives. Currently, I am working with Native Americans on Pine Ridge, the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I am working with a Native owned and run solar energy company. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made of locally derived resources, earth from the reservation. The blocks are naturally thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and photovoltaic panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A side project while in Pine Ridge is a solar computer. I hope to learn about blockchain encryption software for building microgrids. In addition, it is an immediate interest of mine to involve local youth in technology education.
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