How our internal loves manifest in design

We go about our lives with conscious and unconscious commitments. I am very aware, for example, of my conscious (but sleepy) commitment to a ritual of one cup of black coffee before I enter the threshold of work. Maybe more importantly, I also have a conscious commitment to have eyes to see the modest details of life.

The unconscious commitments are the sneaky ones, the ones that take longer to discern. Unconscious commitments are often difficult to identify, except in hindsight. …


An arid beauty

A brief glance at a few projects that awakened the architect (and human) in me.

Arriving at Arcosanti last night stitched together a scene for me. I have been in places of awe surrounded by the most stark spaces. Well, initially stark. By ‘stark’ I mean seemingly simple, somewhat desolate. Without ornamentation, lacking the ‘cozy’ factor that we all love to curl up to.

I mostly stumbled upon Ellsworth Kelly’s chapel. My family and I were wandering around Austin together. Cousin Amy, the spearhead of the group, realized that all of the museums in Austin were free for the day…


Life in the desert

“Don’t worry, the tarantulas are harmless.”

For the most part, I am in no way, shape, or form a planner. I have no cute, book-like planner, and rarely use my calendar app (gasp, I know). But, sometimes even the most spontaneous adventures require a little planning. While I wouldn’t categorize a month long time as spontaneous, I had to plan some structure for this adventure, leaving a good amount of wiggle room for spontaneity and change.

Much of this is because I am mostly feeling initiated. When a Saturday morning hits, and there is space in the day, I’m not…


An easel and rainbow sprinkles

Making room for reminders

I’ve had multiple people ask me, “Are you the type of person that has really high expectations for this time?” To which I answer, genuinely but with a tinge of embarrassment, “Oh yeah.” Why lie about it?

And while the embarrassment, I assure you, is fleeting, I know that it reminds me of the tension that I live within. That yes, this is a gift you’ve quite literally worked your way toward for 7+ years. It is important. But also, yes, it is a gift. Earned, but also freely given. There is no definition of ‘success’…


Intro to Sabbatical Planning

And after seven years, she rested.

Rested. What does that even mean? For every person, rest looks different. One thing that feels restful to one person could feel like malaise to someone else. Working in the garden, a moment of rest for the gardener, can feel like tortured work to the brown thumb. Sitting in a quiet little room, writing utensil and well-worn journal on the table, could feel like rest to the poet. It could also feel like death to the do-er.

The beautiful thing about the uniqueness of each creature is that we get to operate differently from…


The view from West Seattle; the evening sun and Olympic Mountains at my dear Golden Gardens; the morning sun at Greenlake Park

Once a stranger, forever a bestie.

It is 60 degrees, sun is out to play and there is not a cloud in sight. In fact, the things that look like clouds are the snow-capped mountain beauties miles upon miles away. The visual of lingering snow paired with trees in bloom and short-sleeve shirts leaves your imagination going wild. We have made it to spring!

The weather for my last week in Seattle shows the bright sun emoji all day every day, with temperatures hovering around amazing. This is such a gift. Yet, making it even harder to leave. What also…


of about anything.

In many ways, my season of life is appropriately coordinating with the winter season in Seattle life. Moments of outdoor spontaneity are met with nature’s own form of spontaneity — at any moment the gray clouds could decide to dispense their tears. Then ten minutes later, the sun, equally powerful and discerning, decides to burst through the clouds and rain down droplets of light, touching every ripple of water, every dangling pine needle.

Such is the life of someone who is dipping in and out of studying the human condition — also known as counseling. I am…


While still preparing to leave again.

I packed up life in Seattle. Preparing for a short stint away. Or back. On one side of the bed were all the things I needed to take back with me for 6-weeks in Charlottesville. On the other, were all the things that could be left here in Seattle, but that needed to be packed away. Away into the extra suitcases and boxes, left in the Fit for winter hibernation on the slippery streets of Seattle.

How do you prepare to be back ‘home’ for only 6-weeks? I remember taking an Uber to the airport, gazing out at the Olympic…


Appreciating the handiwork of colorful stitching

I think the last time we talked I was wandering through the desert. Does that sound right? Well, I think I’m still a’ wandering. It’s been hot, sticky and overwhelming at times. The dry wind has blown swiftly through my crazy weird hair, and not in that model-esque sort of way, but in the way that leaves most of it either up in the air or in your mouth. And, on some long days, I have acquiesced to staying put for the night, unable to look much farther than a few inches in front of me. …


A season of grieving with a good cup of hipster coffee.

Often the desert is a scary place. Filled with cracks and grooves in the dry, dusty ground. Sometimes those cracks feel as though they could swallow you whole. Full of rustlings and howls of a land unknown and yet to be discovered. Overflowing with a deep and wide expanse of sameness, staring past the horizon, not able to imagine anything more than the monotonous view in front of you.

Many chosen and prepared steps brought me to this place. And though my body is here, my mind and memories are haunted with what was. The comfort of the place before…

Ashley Rose Walton

Designer and Friend.

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