Light and Color
 Jake, Meg, Martha, and Rebecca

Jake, Meg, Martha, and Rebecca


Meg's and my journey into the legacy of William Schickel continued this week with a visit (with Jake Hodesh) to Schickel Design in Cincinnati's Over-The-Rhine neighborhood across from Washington Park. Schickel Design is the same company that William Schickel ran, and his father, and his father's father. It's now led by William Schickel's daughter Martha Schickel Dorff, AIA. Her daughter Rebecca Cadena, R.A. works there too, and so, thankfully, Schickel Design will continue another generation. 

Unlike William, Martha and Rebecca are licensed architects. Like William, these women have not confined themselves to their degrees and certifications. As the picture above reveals, their work encompasses (but is not limited to) building design, urban planning, painting, sculpture, stained glass, and drawing. What inspired Meg and me in their father/grandfather was the diversity of his work; a seemingly fearless nature toward new and different projects and mediums. It's obvious that a similar openness and curiosity is very alive in Martha and Rebecca as well. 


Even on a cold and gray day the studio is full of light and color. 

Soul Collage I
Soul Collage Trischler

I'm taking a Soul Collage course at The Hive. I've always enjoyed collage, so the class seemed right up my alley. 

During the class, we mostly spend 2-3 hours collaging; cutting paper and putting the pieces together. The difference between Soul Collage and regular collaging is that the end results give you a picture of what's happening in your internal life. You get there by selecting images by intuition as opposed to affinity. Meaning you don't pick images you like, but pictures that call you for whatever reason. Likewise, when piecing images together, it's not about composition or storytelling. You just place the pieces together as your gut leads. 

It's a freeing practice considering I'm so used to driving toward a destination I already have in mind in my daily design work. In Soul Collage, the end is unknown until you finish; once the pieces are together, and your intuition tells you it's complete. 

Another thing that's liberating is that it's not about perfection or competition. It's merely about connecting to and expressing where you are in the present moment. Again, quite a relief for a designer who always wants to get the solution just right and compares himself to others.

In my first week, I produced seven images. That's a crazy amount for me. It seems my soul has much to say. While I wish I could you the final results, participants are encouraged not to share their images because they are a vulnerable glimpse into one's soul. I dig that. Once again another liberating idea in a world that rewards showing off our seemingly perfect creations/lives.

 Organized images. 

Organized images. 

 All of our images together.

All of our images together.

An Evening With Min Jin Lee

I plowed through Pachinko earlier this year and loved it. It was one of those books I couldn't put down and would read deep into the night.

I was very excited when I found out that the Mercantile was hosting an evening with Pachinko's author Min Jin Lee. 

After reading a short section from Pachinko, Min Jin Lee fielded questions from the crowd. I could have listened to her all night (like I had with her book). Her thoughts on the importance of fiction, why writing should feel like a passionate affair (otherwise why do it?), mans purpose (to protect and provide) and keeping a low overhead as a writer (or creatives in general) stuck with me the most.

I should also note that I was one the only men in the room. In this particular week that was a more common occurrence. It's not super surprising since Min Jin Lee is a female author and the other events were also female-led (soul collage and an Enneagram class). However, it is somewhat sad considering how much we men can learn from our brilliant sisters around the world.

Welcome to Habesha Cafe & Restaurant

Megan and I met up with Chad and Fili for Ethiopian food at Habesha Cafe & Restaurant in Cincinnati's West Side. I was delighted to find a local Ethiopian restaurant having visited the country several years ago and loving its cuisine before and (eventually loving it again) after my trip.


Ethiopian food is wonderful. There are no plates. You eat with your hands. It's very communal. But as I alluded above, I haven't always loved Ethiopian food. During my month-long trip, I had a dreadful stomach virus for a practically a week. I associated the illness with Ethiopian food when in actuality it was likely caused by continually drinking rancid mango juice. Afterward, while not at fault, the sight of Ethiopian food made me gag. Thankfully, my aversion has passed. I enjoyed every bite of our meal at Habesha.


Once we were beyond full and the injera bread had started to expand further in our stomachs, the lovely lady who ran the front of house at Habesha made us coffee in the Ethiopian tradition. 


Fili had his coffee with lots of milk (it's very strong, but good).

Not pictured: After lunch our little crew drove over to an Ethiopian Grocery called Merkato Market (next to Tacos El Joven) to purchase some injera bread and Topo Chico.

Meg and I continually find ourselves surprised and grateful for the international flavors in Cincinnti. While they might not be prevelant or obvious, they're here and they're good. 

Intro to Meditation

I had the privilege of meditating with these beautiful people in an introduction to meditation class at The Hive in Northside, Cincinnati. Joey, on the ground at the left, led the class. He is an excellent teacher; warm, accepting, and knowledgeable. I have been meditating on and off, with and without apps, mostly self-taught, for the last year or so. The course gave me a solid ground to stand on and build from. It was also a lot of fun. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to start from scratch or strengthen an exisiting practice.