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Isaac McCoy-Sulentic: celebrations, conversations

by on 12 Jun 2011

Timber Framer Isaac McCoy-Sulentic of Eugene, Oregon shares some thoughts.

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“Time is like a city in Russia”  – Danish saying

We had another memorable barbeque at Sosenki last night in honor of the departure of the first group of MCA students. Blood sausage, kielbasa, cabbage salad, pierogi, and galunka, which I believe is pig knuckle, filled our bellies and the company of friends made our hearts content. There was ax throwing, archery, and our new friend Witek Laski toasted to health and tomorrow with a Polish vodka whose owner inspired such distaste that it was not to be discussed at a party. I turned in early, enjoying a quiet walk along the San, returning to the Dom just as darkness fell. There I found Marcin in the wifi hotspot that is the ground floor lobby, deep in the zoom in zoom out world of AutoCad, working to finish up a project for his architecture program at a state university in Bialystok. He was working on redesigning a city square for a town that has multiple religious groups and explained how his team’s design reflected the Muslim, Catholic, Jewish and Orthodox background of the citizens. To show me where the project was, he opened up Google earth and the lesson began.

After he explained his project, I asked where the Museum was going to be built in Warsaw, so we looked at the satellite view of the site. Then, using the timeline feature, we looked at an aerial photo from 1935 for the museum site, when Warsaw was known as the ‘Paris of the East.’ We could see a dense city with small streets and a large building on the museum site. Then Marcin moved the timeline to 1945 to show the level of destruction and see what happened to the Museum site. There were a few churches left that the Germans used as bunkers, what looked like the foundations of a building on the museum site, but by and large there was just rubble (Something was leveled for construction to begin on the new museum, what was it?). Marcin has used this same technology to see what happened to his great grandparents’ house during the war.

Jacob and I were walking to the Sosenki from the site when he relayed and explained the above saying in Danish, as we were remarking on the days flying by, time marked by meals and the number of wood chips on the ground. But I later thought about the view of time that is presented by the click and drag of Google earth. We can fast forward and rewind from the vantage of a single aerial lens and see a city disappear in the flick of the mouse. But the synagogue has provided an anchor in time and place from which to learn about any number of stories beneath the view from above. See T.S. Eliot’s Burnt Norton… Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future and time future contained in time past if all time is eternally present…

Isaac

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One Comment
  1. Michael de Silva permalink

    Over the past weeks I have followed the progress of one of the most exciting and important international projects I have been aware of in my long lifetime. The spirit of community,fellowship and industrial expertise shines out in every posting and photograph.
    I very much hope I shall be able to visit the completion in 2013. Somehow I just know who will be the most disappointed man in the whole of Europe on Tuesday 14th June.

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