J. D. Sampson

Where the water meets the mudflat

An island of Hope in Alaska

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She stares blankly at the screen imagining her ancestors — distant and rugged. They could bear the burn of an inhumane climate. Frozen marrow, numb digits. She sees a man trying to tie bait to a line, removing the necessary blanket of his mitten. Time ticking, stomach growling. The wind piercing and wailing while he tries to remain . . .

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April 09, 2015

Through the darkness

a girl can dance her way

Somewhere between darkness and insanity, a girl can loose her way. The trees fall over her path and she is wound about. She finds another opening, a light in the distance. But the light is not the sun - her natural guiding brightness. It is a person with a flashlight, telling her to come this way. The fake light looks the same at first - it . . .

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January 20, 2015

It takes no equity

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Working with wood is peaceful. Once you learn its mechanics and become acquainted with its subtleties, you never have to worry about those dynamics changing. It doesn’t respond to every heartbeat of the economy. No org changes or leadership debacles will alter its mission. Working with wood is a language that only deepens with time . . .

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Posted in: lifestyle

January 08, 2015

Finally, color!

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The soft unique color of a piece of raw wood gives me shivers. I can’t get enough of its natural swirling state, which is why I’ve avoided using any color or even heavy finishes on my pieces so far. I couldn't bare to see those features get covered-up.

That said, I recently decided I need some color in my perpetually . . .

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December 16, 2014

Constructing nature

“Build therefore your own world.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson,

I lived in the Bay Area for over a decade. Away from the wild woods of Alaska where I grew up. Away from the changing seasons, fresh oxygen and staccato sounds of a forest’s inhabitants. Sure, I could easily escape from the cement and find those pleasures out of town, but it . . .

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November 08, 2014

What drives us

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“So little of what could happen does happen.”
― Salvador Dalí

To Shakers, the act of work is also an act of prayer and so their profound craftsmanship is dedicated to God. One of the 10 Perfectionsof Buddhism is about being diligent, making a monk’s personal efforts driven by achieving Enlightenment.

As a . . .

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October 08, 2014

Surprising Sculpture

I first found out about Andy Goldsworthy while wandering just a few feet from my back door. I had just moved to The Presidio, a federally owned park on the north border of San Francisco. To me it was the perfect place to partake in city life while still feeling a sense of space. I would wander the trails in the early morning when the fog was . . .

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Setember 08, 2014


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