Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sub rosa

Today I came across the term, sub rosa, which literally means "under the rose." It’s also a code for secret meetings, or to keep something private, confidential, secret.

Where I came across sub rosa was in a book about an architect, Samuel Mockbee, who started the Rural Studio in rural Alabama in the 1990s. His students built houses out of 'found' and recycled materials for the poorest of the poor who had been living in shacks and burnt-out trailers. And Mockbee's last architectural drawing before he died was titled sub rosa. It appears to be a meditation space, a thinking space that was to be on the grounds of the Rural Studio. His daughter is now carrying the project to completion. And that got me thinking about sub rosa, meditation, and thinking spaces.

Part of my meditation is reflecting on Veterans Day, particularly of my grandfather, who fought in the trenches in World War I, and who later spoke of the horrors of war, and why our country should exercise great caution before becoming involved in any kind of military action. He was a wise and caring man.

Everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul -- Samuel Mockbee

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