Listening to the Inner Dialog + Plan B

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
— Jimmy Dean
book making

I have always been drawn to objects and surfaces that bear witness to the passage of time. Even places that seem pulled from the stories of Lawrence of Arabia, Out of Africa or A Passage to India. I sit here in the the wild edge of the Sahara during a sand storm as I write this post.

portable office

As with my art, the addition and subtraction and the balance between construction and destruction are where my art takes shape and finds life. I see the same being true of this restoration of the Kasbah here in the Sahara.

Finding the balance between the new and the old, function and form, simplicity and amenities. The adage of wabi sabi sits close to my heart and finding that line that is not too rough and yet rustic enough to leave well enough alone. I mean if you wanted what is modern I dont think that a Kasbah in the desert would be your desired location do you?

If you want space to breathe, think, create and just be - just enough is the environment that I believe would be nourishing to that outcome? 

let there be light

Creating that reality is down here is harder than I could have imagined - between the lack of skilled workers and there familiar responsibilities (water garden, death, or bringing wife to another family members village) or the fact that Thursday is Souk day, Friday is a holy day and often a day or two taken off for the other stated reasons, has left the work force sparse and slow. . . It doesn't  seem to matter how many teams we find and start, the rhythm is the same. This sits along side the "YES" that you hear when you have the potential of a tiler, or painter, or labourer - they say yes, tomorrow will be fine but what tomorrow,  I have not yet figure this out? Once they grace the Kasbah with their presence,  supplies and personal effects (they often stay here, most come from different villages and have lack of transportation.) After a day or two, maybe three, they say they have to go for a day, maybe two, either to another job or home (this is puzzling when you heard that Kamal was clear with them the scope of the job and the deadlines we are coming upon.) Off they go, some returning and others never to be seen again - this has kept the Nomad (Kamal) busy always looking  for more skilled bodies, when he isn't doing that he is correcting the many, many errors that occur in the work itself ha!

This really should be a reality show, the most unbelievable fixer upper episodes I have seen to date. Which gets me back to the what is enough, and simplicity in amenities and design.

paint master

What I thought would be easy, is not so . . . the ability to look at an image or a sketch and bring it too life no matter how simple or basic leaves me perplexed - what I have discovered is they seem to only have one design style, that they repeat again and again regardless of the "Yes" I can do it when asked? 


Listening to the inner dialog and Plan B - the beginning of this post I spoke to the passage of time and the balance between construction and destruction and this is what I have come too.

I cannot control any of this, it is what it is, the outcome will be beautiful and simple when completed, whenever that may be . . . until then I have decided that the way to move forward for me is to breathe, get on my mat and grab my journal - both electronic and analog.

For plan B? . . . I have guests scheduled for the end of the month and the added deadline is not helping in moving this along and in fact it seems we are facing a bit of a pile up since I started writing this,  our electrician has been in a serious work related accident on another job site,  landing him in the hospital with terrible burns to his face and our work site is unable to move forward with the other trades until the wiring is completed!  This has put a few things in perspective in what is truly important and what matters at the end - thankful to have rented a few rooms at a friends place to take the pressure off the timeline here at the Sandcastle and allow it to unfold and come forth in its right time, as all things eventually do. Inshallah -


adventures in life + art M xx

Michelle Fletcher