Monday, November 19, 2012

Temple Walls are Up

Mark, Josh and Vanya grab wall section to add to the temple

After a bit of a disaster a week ago, we got some walls up at the Temple of Life. In October a group of us put up the central tower of the temple. It was the framing only. Everyone was excited to see the temple off the ground and we were all thrilled with ourselves. On Friday, November 9th, a huge wind came up in the area and blew all of our new walls right off of the floor and onto the ground. Needless to say, we were not happy. A lot of work got wrecked.

This past weekend we went up to assess the wreckage and start the rebuild. Most of the lumber was just fine, fortunately. We also learned some things. First, that the power of the wind is quite humbling! Second, that we have to do a much better job of building this structure. I spent some time online reviewing literature about how to build houses in hurricane areas. I also had an email discussion with a friend who knows a lot about framing buildings. Thus armed with information and lots more nails, a few of us dug in and built new walls.

The view to the west through the framed walls
Instead of building the tower first and then adding the wing framing, like we did in October, we built all the lower level walls and got some sheathing on the corners. It turns out that sheathing is one of the main things that holds a building together in high winds. I also spent a lot of time adding more steel straps and anchors to attach the walls to the floor framing and the floor framing to the concrete piers that make up the foundation of the temple.

We hammered until our arms were so tired we could barely hit the nails and got most of the sheathing on by Sunday afternoon. Success! And the temple structure will be even stronger than it would have been had the big wind disaster not happened. Thanks to Vanya, Mark, Kismet, and Josh for coming to Gateway Ranch last weekend to help rebuild the temple walls.

This is how far we got last weekend.
The next work party will be in early December and we will finish the sheathing on the lower walls, build the upper walls and sheath them, and maybe be able to put the roof deck framing on top of the tower. It will be either the first or second weekend of December. If you want to help, and one of the weekends is better for you than the other, let me know.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Temple Construction Begins!

On Thursday afternoon Kismet, Mark, and I wandered all over their 80 acres looking for the best location to build the temple. We each had our own ideas of what would make a good site but we all were open to the spirit of the land telling us where it wanted a temple to be.

We ended up in a location that none of us had considered before we started our wandering. It seems to be the perfect spot with a great view of the San Francisco Peaks to the west, the Hopi mesas to the north, the painted desert to the east, and Merriam Crater to the south.

Friday morning Mark came out and the two of us did a little ground-breaking ceremony. Mark said a Navajo blessing from the Four Directions and it was perfect. Together we dug the first shovelful of dirt and the project was underway. The weather was perfect, clear with a light breeze. An auspicious beginning.

The digging of the holes for the foundation turned out to be not that hard. The biggest problem being that the loose cinders that goes for dirt up here kept falling back into the holes. We hit caliche about 16 to 18 inches down which was perfect. Caliche is a hard clay that makes for a solid base for the foundation. It was good to find that the temple would be sitting on more than just loose cinders.
Saturday evening several of us (Royce, Harry, Quiote, Ninjah, Sunny, Mark, and Chita stood on the temple floor framing and watched the sun set directly on top of the San Francisco Peaks while the full moon rose over the Painted Desert. Beautiful!

By Sunday afternoon we had all but four of the foundation holes dug and we had the rough framing mostly done for the floor.Thanks to all who helped with the process! That would be mainly Harry, Quiote, Ninjah, Gordon, Steve, Mark and myself digging, lifting, hammering, laughing and doing the dance of temple building. Thanks also to Sunny for cooking us breakfast on Sunday morning. What a treat! And especially big thanks to Kismet and Mark who own Gateway Ranch and are funding the basic materials for the temple.

This weekend the work continues in the midst of a big party called Soul'd Out. We hope to finish the foundation, get the sub-floor screwed down and start the wall framing. There will be many more potential volunteers working so I am thinking we will get the walls mostly done before the end of the weekend.
Thanks to Sunny and Chita for taking the above photos. I was just too busy working to think about getting my camera out.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Introduction to the Temple of Life Project

Beginning on September 28th, 2012 I and volunteers will break ground on a Temple of Life which will be constructed at Gateway Ranch near Flagstaff, Arizona.

This will be a Temple of no particular religion, denomination, or belief. It will be built for the purpose of inspiring all who enter it to think lofty thoughts, feel a connection with all life, and connect with spirit, their own highest self, and the best that is within them.

The Temple will be a collaborative art project. It will be decorated with found objects, recyclables, and re-purposed materials. Everyone is welcome to participate by making pieces for the Temple.

The weekend of September 29th we will be building the foundation. If all goes well that weekend, we will start the framing of the structure the following weekend, Oct.6,7,. This second weekend will also be an event called Soul'd Out at Gateway Ranch. You are invited to come to Gateway and help either or both weekends.
The construction of the Temple of Life will be a dance. We will all participate and contribute together to make this an inspiring and uplifting experience for all of us and for all who visit it.

More details will be posted as things develop.
Join us in building a temple!