Category: About


About This Blog

About This Blog

Welcome! And congratulations on finding my blog. Before you enter, please read on to find out a little about what this blog is (and what it is not). This blog is about my journey through this strange and beautiful world, and includes reflections on both my internal and external journey, which I see as inseparable from each other. Depending on how you found this blog you may have been expecting a tiny house blog with how to videos and budget breakdowns, or you may have been expecting reflections on a spiritual journey, or perhaps a travel blog. You will find a little of all these and more here.

For a while I considered trying to have two blogs: one that was perhaps more “practical” and “professional” in nature and the other for “all the rest” of the stuff. But for me it felt that to separate the two would be almost impossible and result in something much more one dimensional and inauthentic to who I am, what I am about, and why I enjoy keeping a blog.

For me this blog is like an evolving and dynamic autobiography of my life. So why do people write autobiographies? And why, for that matter, do people enjoy reading them? There are many answers to these questions, and the second I will leave for you to answer. But here are some of my answers to the first: I write because through the process of writing I often discover new meaning and coherence to my own life and the world. I write because it feels like one humble gift I can offer back to the world. And I write because I hope to inspire and connect to others while receiving affirmation that my own journey is valid and, although unique, also one part in a larger interconnected whole.

And what do I hope to inspire? I hope to inspire people to strive to live in right relationship with themselves, others, and the earth. To live in a way that is well with their mind, heart, body, and soul. And I hope to inspire this by sharing my own journey of striving to do just that in a real and authentic way. To me, this means showing how the journey is not linear and sometimes messy, and also showing how the building of those inner timber frames can be just as valid and important as the building of those outer ones.

If this journey resonates with you then you may find yourself digging back into the archives of this blog, perhaps reading chronologically from the beginning or deciding to follow my blog into the future. If you came to read about tiny houses or other building related things and still wish to primarily read just about that then I suggest you click on “the built environment” category from the menu above, but don’t be surprised if you find other parts of me peppered in there, including the raw, vulnerable, and perhaps provocative. In essence, nothing I do is separate from my spiritually journey and I think that will come through as you read.

Lastly, if you know me in the world beyond the internet you may find that you discover things about me through this blog that you didn’t know before. And perhaps you will feel you have a much more intimate connection with me then I feel I have with you. What this means for how you and I interact is something I am still exploring and discovering, and I imagine is something many must learn to navigate as they choose to step into a more public realm.  Anything I write about here I am consciously making public, and I am choosing to do so in a way that portrays both the shadow and the light of my journey, because to me that kind of skillful and authentic transparency is worth much more as an offering back to the world. Please don’t feel shy to bring up something that you have read here. If you are moved or inspired by something here please tell me, as such feedback nourishes and affirms my journey and my decision to share it. If something you read here creates a desire within you to know more please ask and I will likely be happy to share more, as perhaps one of the most gratifying experiences for me is to feel I have helped someone else along in their journey of self discovery.

And with that, I invite you to enter and hope that you find what you are looking for, even if it is not what you expected…

About Me (and the name Sculpting Earth)

My name is Miwa and this blog is about my journey through this world as someone who loves this world and believes in the power of the individual and community. I am a loyal and devoted friend, and the only child of a Japanese mother and a New York born Jew. I am a daughter and a granddaughter to elders I love and respect with all my heart. I am an outdoor enthusiast who feels a strong responsibility to steward this beautiful earth; This earth that has healed me in times of grief, brought me joy and empowerment  through awe inspiring experiences, and continues to teach and inspire curiosity, wonder, and innocence from within. I am a builder, artist, violinist, poet, and much more. I am a student of the world, a traveler, an inquirer, and a skeptic. I am a seeker, on a heart and soul centric journey. I am a sculptor, always refining my ability to sculpt my inner and outer worlds with grace.

Home

So why did I create this blog? Well actually, this blog has evolved out of an earlier SculptingEarth blog that I began because my former partner, Peter Benjamin and I shared a dream. That dream was to live harmoniously and in partnership with the world around us. Not just the human world, but the natural and animal world. That blog was to document, publicize, and network around a dream of ours; to build a cob house (the dream still exists and has grown, and I don’t worry, I will explain what cob is). For better or worse, that blog disappeared when the host site we were using went through some changes. In the meantime, the dream evolved and realities about the enormity of what we want to do also started to set in. I realized there is much I still want to clarify for myself about my own vision and dream and hence there is much I still want to learn and explore before I build my own house. And so this metaphor of sculpting earth grew to mean much more for me then just sculpting my own house. My intention with this new blog, which is broader in it’s scope but able to encompass the goals of the old blog, is to document and share my learnings and explorations and thereby also document the evolution of  my dreams and how they change from inception to manifestation.

Although I promise there will be more posts on the subject of cob, for those totally mystified by the word and who are thinking of corn cobs right now, let me briefly tell you what cob is. Cob is a building material that has been used for centuries. It is simply wet adobe, which is nothing more then clay, sand, and straw. This material is used to build houses that can be any shape and size that are, in the end, one solid mass. A mass that is incredibly durable against earthquakes and fires, keeps spaces cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and can be built by almost anybody. There are two things that make cob so attractive to me. First, is so accessible! The materials are cheap and the technique is easy and non technical, allowing almost anybody to build their own house. Second, it allows for incredible freedom of creative expression. It is literally like sculpting clay! You are not limited by rectangular bricks or boards. As an artist myself, this idea of sculpting my own house is incredibly appealing.

Here is a picture of the first cob project I was a part of (picture taken by Kaitlyn O’Connor. Check out her blog here!). This cob bench is only partially done, but if you look closely you see a little niche carved into the back- just a very simple example of a group of beginners playing around with sculpting on this simple form. If you search cob houses on the internet you will see many more and be able to get a feel for the potential beauty of this form!

Home

Home (watercolor)

Spring, 2011

I call this image Home. In it I see the earth, a cell, a house, a garden. I see a listening ear, moving energy, and a womb. I see a yin yang; a symbol of balance. This image has become symbolic of my journey to sculpt this earth and myself towards the best we can be.

Hello World!

My name is Miwa and welcome to my blog. This blog is about my journey through this world as someone who loves this world and believes in the power of the individual and community. I am a loyal and devoted friend and partner, and the only child of a Japanese mother and a New York born Jew. I am an outdoor enthusiast who feels a strong responsibility to steward this beautiful earth; This earth that has healed me in times of grief, brought me joy and empowerment  through awe inspiring experiences, and continues to teach and inspire curiosity, wonder, and innocence from within. I am an artist, violinist, poet, and much more. I am a student of the world, a traveler, an inquirer, and a skeptic. I am a seeker, on a heart and soul centric journey. I am a sculptor, always refining my ability to sculpt my world with grace.

This blog is many things and will always be evolving (Aren’t we all always evolving and changing?). Take a look around and I hope you find something that interests, inspires, or challenges you. And in the end, my hope is that you will stop reading, turn off your computer, and take a step outside. (and my apologies if I cease to write for a while as I tend to get caught up in the adventure of life myself.) Smell the fresh air, and breathe it into your lungs. Hear the birds twitter and the brook babble. Feel the rain on your skin, taste the raspberry you just picked from a bush, (a bush that maybe you planted!) and wiggle your toes in some mud. Watch the dapple sunlight sparkle through the fall foliage and smile. Life is good and has much to give. Go experience it! And question what you see. When something doesn’t feel right do something about it. We all share a hand in sculpting this world. You are a sculptor whether you stand by idly, pick up a weapon and fight, or find that hard to find, other, in between method to engage authentically  and compassionately with this world. And it’s your choice how you develop your skills as a sculptor of this earth. Will your touch be coarse or meek like that of the beginner or will it be calm but passionate, centered and powerful, with one’s own refined style and flair, like that of a skilled sculptor? This is the question I leave with you with.

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