kate in the sky with diamonds

St. Louis, Day 3: the light here is awesome for field-gazing and fine for swimming at the public pool. However it is not useful for my photography, or for seeing the night sky. It is salted with mold spores and pollen grains and scraps of the air conditioner and the basement, of little tiny bug parts, mixed with the pieces of air that have floated off of the surreal church sign on the corner, the one that says strange things.

I lost my notebook with all of my notes in it about the 1979 situation; I can hardly believe that it could happen, much less that it did. It is inconceivable. I have one photograph of it; just think, all that I would have had to do is photograph each page.

sagdeev on the train

My grief is both abstract and sharp; the loss is indescribable and also meaningless. I am the one who made the notes. I am the notes. I am the sky, the sea. I do not need notes. And yet I am marked, scarred by this pointless loss as by other similar losses in the past and I vow, “never again” and this time I think I mean it. There are some things that I am just not going to take anymore. From anyone. Especially from me.

And who knows… it may return to me. It could be hiding under a bed, or in a little quantum pocket. I remain focused on it, in background, to help it find me.  Outside my second floor windows here I only see trees; I think of Gaudi. And for some reason, not having anything to do with disliking summer, I think of winter. Emotionally. I have no idea what that is about, but I go with it. I listen to Brian Eno, to old trippy music, to things I have never heard before, I rest in David Byrne like a cloud. And in the clouds.


Also, my action figure can’t wait to play with his action figure.

David Byrne Happy Clouds

I count the days in confusing fashion; days breathing in this thick air and my last days with Liam as a boy in the home, days until Evan joins me in Tucson for the summer, the days until I kiss Bill again, days until we get to Pluto, days until I come out into the clear light of Boston, until I have Jack Wisdom in my hug, until I meet Trophy Guy and Roald Sagdeev, until I see so many of our friends at an incredible wedding, until I stand in the new octagonal world created by Gail Crosman Moore, until I taste the insane beauty of the lumens at the tip of the Cape, or return to the shining glory of the Tucson sky… and do the things I want to do, like paint with Bill Hartmann and bead with Kate Stern and build tiny architectural living spaces with Kellner and make the books with ten thousand people… with Dustin… and always, forever, counting the days until I kiss Bill again.

My time in this odd place is like the time a monk spends with his being suspended or his body stretched across a gap. I can make of it what I will but I’d be best off in a state of deep meditation and a method of outflow, giving.

If there was ever a time to forget myself, it is here. And the now.


Each moment here, I focus on my self-control, on the love that I feel for my people, the meaninglessness of time, and the idea that I can be everywhere at once, experiencing the whole of my existence. I work, head down, on my projects, I write down lists of dreams, I encourage other people. Why not?

For those of you Bri-watching, she did in fact finish first in her Navy class, and she did get to choose first from the class orders, and she chose to go to Japan, and she will be there for three years, starting this fall or winter. She worked so hard, and I love her so much.

Bri Date in harness before going aloft

I love them all so much, really, I don’t know how my heart can hold it sometimes. In this picture, you can see Evan, Bill and Liam, all in a line to the left, walking toward Bri, who was in climbing harness, ready to head up to the fighting top of the USS Constitution.

Ah, how I dream of a day when these fine ships and these beautiful, strong, clever people can be used to build a better world, rather than defend the borders and the ideas of a time gone by. Maybe that day is now, if we want it to be.

. . .

Speaking of beauty,  have a look at this insanely incredible spherical panorama of the Sheats-Goldstein house, one of my favorite works by John Lautner, and featured in our friend Bette Jane Cohen’s film, The Spirit In Architecture.

Bette just recently digitally remastered her movie, and filmed an extra bit for it; I think this is a shot from the day that they took the extra footage. Spherical panos are fun to drive around on the screen… kind of like backing up a trailer in a mirror.

The one evening I spent in this house, courtesy of Bette, was one of the most formative evenings of my life.

spherical pano screencap Lautner house