Get outside and worship in the Tree Church.

Church_front_thru_trees_resize-960x600In the past two weeks, I have gone mountain biking at Sugarloaf, hiked Bradbury Mountain, swam in three rivers and one pond, tried stand-up paddleboard yoga for the very first time, went bouldering and fell on my butt, and climbed up a slippery waterfall. I’m proud of this fact, even though it means I’ve been neglecting my blog and my books and my work. But the easiest way to recalibrate my inner system—to reset my mental state to neutral, to flip the switch from madness to sanity, to stop the centipede from whirling around my skull—is to go outside.

I won’t get weird and preachy here, but I don’t know how to say this without sounding a little too earnest. So I’ll just go ahead and keep it short: I need green things. Nature makes me whole and balanced and good. It’s my jam (friluftsliv FTW).

Tree-Church_web_front_full-colourSo naturally I fell in love with this outdoor church in New Zealand made almost entirely from living things. “After traveling the world and being a keen observer of Churches, Barry Cox decided to construct a unique Church of his own using living trees,” reads the website. Construction started in April, 2011 and now the church and garden grounds are open to visitors. You can also book it for weddings. How nice would that be?

Sadly, it’s too expensive for my nuptials (not to mention halfway around the world). But what a great idea! It reminds me of earthwork artist Olafur Eliasson’s piece at Bard, the Parliament of Reality. It’s an art installation that also functions as an outdoor gathering space, and I used to visit it often when I was in school. It’s been years; I wonder what it looks like now…

See more about the tree church here and here.

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Wicker Park.

You know how I said I wanted to live in a human nest? Well, I did. Pay more attention.

Anyway, artist Patrick Doughrety makes what are probably the most elaborate and wonderful wicker structures I’ve ever seen. They range in size and shape; some look like twisty wooden tornadoes and others reach straight upward a windswept castle. There’s something really whimsical about his pieces—they look just like illustrations from a children’s book, come to life and made on a massive scale. I want to crawl inside and take a nap. Or maybe have a picnic.

More here.