I first met Kyle Murphy not long before I moved to Buenos Aires. He was a recent transplant to Lynchburg, Va., from Raleigh, N.C. Another editor at my college paper had grown up with his wife, Carolyn, in Maine. I guess Carolyn came to Lynchburg on occasion, but they essentially moved to Lynchburg without knowing a soul.
When I finally moved back to Lynchburg, nearly three years later, I'd run into Kyle and Carolyn on occasion. We'd share anecdotes about our kids or news about our mutual friend.
Last month, I had the opportunity to sit down with Kyle for a freelance article I was to writing for Lynchburg Business Magazine. My preparation for such encounters includes as little preparation as possible. I may have a list of questions to ask, but it isn't often that I find it appropriate to ask all if even half of them. My preference is conversation to interview; the responses I get from the few questions I do ask end up being much more meaningful in these situations.
I approached our encounter not without a hint of butterflies. Kyle and I have known each other for nearly five years, but this was the first actual conversation we would had. The interview opened with my telling him that I would be asking a bunch of questions that might seem redundant or obvious, but for the sake of the interview I was going to pretend that I knew nothing about him. I didn't really have to pretend though. At most social gathering's, we'd tip-toe around one another without a goddamn thing to say. A lot of whatsups and nodding.
Our interview stretched on for three hours, challenging the batteries in my digital voice recorder. Friends dropped in throughout the conversation, and my playing back the recording revealed more than a few instances where I asked myself: "Why the hell did you say that."
That's to be expected.
Kyle went into great detail about his passion for timber framing, a minimalistic style of carpentry where the builder uses large beams and few tools (almost no power tools). And with everything that was said, there was one mantra that rang out: Do things well so others will do things well too. It sounds almost biblical, and it speaks volumes of what should be at the forefront of the mind during the artistic process. The ultimate goal of the artist, then, should not be one of glory or riches -- the goal of the artist should simply be to create the best art he or she can possibly can, that way others are prompted to do the same. Spending time in Brooklyn last week made me think of this concept again. I was surrounded by millions of people, and for any one of them there is probably another 10,000 trying to achieve the exact same thing. The perpetual result is a massive ball of flesh, stone, glass and steel that's in a constant wrestling match to produce better and better things.
But I digress.
The folks at Prototype Advertising were kind enough to publish the resulting article in the July issue of Lynchburg Business Magazine, and even gave me another assignment for another construction company. Is there such a thing as a "construction beat" in journalism?
The article in its entirety can be read here.
View Kyle's work at www.fallingacorn.com (slated for a rebuild in the near future).
Header imagery from www.fallingacorn.com.
My name is Marcelo Asher Quarantotto.I WRITE WITH WORDS, PHOTOS, VIDEOS, WEBSITES AND MUSIC.
I am a father of three beautiful daughters and husband to the most gracious, saintly creature I've ever met. (You'll find pictures of them here from time to time.) I am also a multidisciplinary storyteller.