Getting Personal…

IMG_7290

I’m working on a new bio, inspired by Dan Blank. It’s taking shape…here it is:

I design, write and paint to reveal deeper connecting rivers of light that flow through our problems and carry us to solutions. I am interested in the weave of words, images and form as they fix our focus on what we think matters in any moment in time. My work is evolving now: as an architect, in a careful, climate-ready approach to renovating existing and historic buildings; as a writer, in crafting my second novel about creative states of consciousness; as an artist, in a series of paintings aimed at targeting the viewer’s attention to that which is eternal, and of upward motion.

I moved to New York on the strength of two months of dreams: every night the same dream. I was painting large, colorful, abstract images and everywhere I went, things worked out through the kindness of strangers. I took jobs in architecture, my “field” of study, and wrote about the environment, published a novel (my first, visionary eco-fiction). The abstract painting began after over a decade of living in the New York area, for me now expanded to New Jersey, after saying out loud over a game of Scrabble, “drawing for me is like breathing,” and realizing I had work to do in shifting from decades of pen sketching realistic spaces, to translating the essence of what I saw and felt of my meditative experience enhanced through my practice of Reiki. And so I began to paint, and the weave became richer, tighter and more compelling to me as a creator.

I knew I’d be a creator from a young age, and so becoming an architect was not a surprise. Limiting myself to architecture was not a possibility, since I see life too spherically to stay within the boundaries of one traditional discipline. My training in architecture (at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada) and practice in historic restoration (in New York City) gave me a strong foundation (pun intended!) for understanding the fundamentals of form and function, and it was from that vantage point that I branched out into the more visionary aspects of translating experience into art. The work is both grounded and expansive.

I’ve always been a writer. First it came as small stories I wrote for myself, and poems, then articles, published, and poems, published. In the same way that my first novel was more globally about ecology and specifically about fracking, so is my second novel more broadly about creative states of consciousness and more specifically about medical marijuana. There is a third novel, in the ethers, which is generally about transportation, and specifically about high speed rail networks. All of these works are as seen through the lens of architecture, which for me is a focusing device using the skills and vantage point that come easily to me.

I’m lit up by talking about light and color and space, and by hearing what inspires others in their work. I adore teaching others, children in particular, about how to tap into that essence and to find an expression of it in built, sculptural, three-dimensional form. This began long before I had my own children, now entering their teenage years, and it has formed a colorful thread in the larger weave of my work. Sharing what I know at every step is part of my learning and my growth as an architect. As a creator. I continue to work the weave, to find new threads, in design, words and paint – and I am always excited to share that unfolding with people whose flow brings us together.

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

Salmon gathering

river-2143361

I had a dream in the early hours this morning – an Earth Day dream.

Near my office—we’re somewhere northern—closer to the Arctic Circle.

Salmon gathering,

next to my friend’s office window,

in the river that ran clear past by the office building—

under a train bridge,

parallel to a turning train line.

Stood with my kids while we visited.

All so amazed!

Took out cameras to video the salmon run.

People are in with the salmon.

All so amazed!

Train comes by—whooshes through the salmon.

I’m on the train:

video still rolling,

young folks in bucket seats laughing and chatting and

So amazed!

About the salmon they’ve just trailed through.

The power is in the train,

with the kids;

the power isn’t with the salmon.

The salmon’s power transferred to the young kids on the train.

We’re sitting in the laps of the young kids who are holding the salmon-power.

 

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

p.s. This Earth Day, we are celebrating a birthday with a sleepover of young salmon-power-holders. Not marching. Just celebrating.

 

 

Why I travel

BalaclavaPark_MaiaKumariGilman_624

 

Why I travel

 

Because I am human, and I inhabit a physical body, my experience of the sacred is automatically spatial. My experience of the spirit translates easily into the architectures of faith. I explore this. I travel.

Because I am human, and because I engage my physical senses at every moment, my understanding of the spiritual is, by nature, a physical one, tested against what I see, hear, breathe, taste, touch, love and feel. Should one or more of these senses be deprived in any moment, the others compensate in an extraordinary pulsation of experience.

Because I am human, and what I primarily know is the physical, my understanding of the spiritual is often relegated to a classification of physical experiences.

The body perceives the understanding of the spirit, thereby making my understanding of spirit a physical one.

Reverse this order.

Know the spirit as the vehicle, the vessel, in which the body is held, delicately, in its form.

What does this change in my understanding?

That the sacred transcends the physical, is not limited by the immediate perceptions of the body.

That because the sacred is all, and the body is contained within in, that the body alone is not sacred, but that everything is.

This knowing is illuminated through travel, and its expansion of the senses.

This is why I travel.

 

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

excerpt from the soon-to-be-released book:

Duct Tape for Kali: a book of travel poems by Maia Kumari Gilman