Concept is hard to visualize. It can be anything and nothing all at the same time. Without concepts, we can work, and play, but we can’t do it sustainably effectively or with passion. Most of the time we think of concepts in terms of what is. A dog is an animal with specific characteristics. Addition is a concept of combining groups. Liberty and freedom are concepts that is not so easily illustrated. Which brings me to the point of my exploration. Not all concepts are immediately visible and easy to explain, but they existed in the mind of the inventor before they ever became a concept the rest of the world could use: the light bulb, the wheel, the internet.
My husband conceptualizes space much better than I do. When we bought our house 11 years ago, is was a mess. There was a short driveway right up against the side of the house, and everything else was weeds. Several years later it was still somewhat a mess, but V. always carried a concept of what he wanted in both the back and front yard.
This may look like grass, but we (hahaha) watered AND MOWED our weeds. The back yard started with three dying orange trees and an overgrown garden with bricks running through it where the brown patch of dirt is. He began right away removing the trees and the garden, piled the bricks from the lopsided paths, tore down the grape stem fence around the perimeter of the garden. I couldn’t see doing it. I thought I’d putter in the garden, and clean it up a bit. However, rattlesnakes hang out here in the summer, so every high weed could have a snake lurking under it. V didn’t like that concept.
V. wanted to put in a pool. So he laid out his concept with a hose so that I could visualize it. He left it there, and would change its shape from time to time. He walked the pool guys out to show them the concept when they came to talk to us. Our neighbor ordered EXACTLY the same V-designed pool from Tahiti Pools after they shared V’s concept with him. Maybe you can see a pool here better than I did at the time. I was all in favor of putting in a pool. Below you see the same exact area.
The picture was my present to him – my concept of his favorite things. What I conceived I was able to do, but he wasn’t! haha
He wanted to landscape the front as well. We explored the grounds of one of the Central Coastal Wineries to check out their concept of landscaping with grass paths. He adapted the concept of grass pathways with growing something pretty in each framed area. He mapped it out his concepts for me using Microsoft Publisher. He took me out to the yard and walked me around where all the changes would be made. He didn’t ask for much input from me. He constantly talked about his concept because he didn’t think I understood it well enough, and it was a huge investment of time and money. He wanted me enthused about it.
You can see the basic paths. Then he slowly filled them in.
This porch and landscaped flower area had been the location of the narrow driveway when we moved in. V made it beautiful.
It’s interesting about concepts. They motivate people. If you grasp the concept, you can communicate it. V would talk to me daily about his concepts. Soon I was able to see it, and support them, and add my two cents once in a while. Even now I am amazed that it is as beautiful as it turned out to be. Concepts and living your dreams – the next challenge of Jakesprinter are very much connected in my mind. The concepts that V could communicate – his dreams – allowed us to live his dreams.
For more concept ideas click here.
Yesterday received a comment from Amy that read, “Hi Marsha, You might enjoy reading this posthttp://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/an-unexpected-christmas-present/ Re-blog Susan’s post…” I adore and trust Amy, and was touched that she knows me well enough to refer me to another blog. So I went there immediately and found Susan, another kindred spirit. So Susie AKA Coming East is my Featured Blog for the day.
Here’s a wonderful picture of her from the newspaper when she stood in line at the opening of Whole Foods. I’ll tell you what it is that attracts me to Susie. It’s her dry British-ancestry sense of humor. She doesn’t need pictures like I do to prime her pump, but she does tell down-home stories. She does take beautiful pictures, though if you read her Challenge posts. If you like me, you’ll love her. I pressed the follow button before I even finished the first article. I’ve gone back tonight to “camp out” like Russel Ray. (It’s after 12:00 a.m here and I can now surf for free. My husband is monitoring my internet use now since we used up last month’s allotment in 2 weeks.)
So visit Susie, then YOU tell me if I wasn’t right about her.