hello October


Hello, October, you slipped in without me noticing.

harvard yard fall 2015

Harvard Yard is very leafy. It is swirling; the tiny leaves float in the air.

I cannot remember when I began writing 10 instead of 9 on my papers, but then I can’t honestly care about the difference between 9 and 10 anymore anyway. I had a shocking realization somewhere in the slide between those two months that there actually wasn’t any difference between any numbers, or arrangement of numbers, unless you need there to be. Everything bascially adds up to 1, which is just the other half of zero.

It’s not complicated, but I thought it was. What time I have wasted on things, thinking they mattered. I had fun, though, and I love solving things naturally, like the Uncarved Block.

Saturn Jupiter Luna Cambridge Boston

Have I ever told you how much I love Boston? I don’t understand why I shouldn’t just stay here frequently/forever.

Amazingly I can teach a four week session at MIT in January, every January. It’s easy; anyone with a good idea that might engage others can do it. There is a special session each year that the students (or anyone in the MIT community) can sign up for. It’s called IAP, and I am going to teach it, if possible, every year for the rest of my life. I start on January 4, 2016.

Why not, I say. I didn’t know that I could do this, or I would have started as soon as I could have organized my thoughts, reached the blackboards.

the view from Dogans window at MIT

Right now I am on the tip of the tip of the fern frondy edge of the Atlantic Seaboard; I am in a tiny beautiful little cabin on the water in Provincetown, Mass. It is owned by a beader named Rebecca who I have not yet met, but feel close to her here in her space. And it looks like this:

ptown sunset

provincetown sunrise

I’ve traveled to St. Louis and kissed Bill repeatedly and frequently and celebrated Evan’s 18th birthday (ah, how I long to spend every second of my life with that boy, and how wrong that would be).

Last week, we held my Seed Bead Summit at MIT (and assorted other exciting locations) and found a theoretical spatial whiz and a gentle visionary artist/engineer and an architect with as much energy as I have, and a math theorist who understands that everything adds up to 1, and is apparently trying to show people how it works in Pythagorean triples. Well, I haven’t met the last one yet, but it is inescapable; I know his name, and we have the same little idea.

Kate in the MIT Stata Center

above, the wrap-up on the last day; the lecture at the MIT Stata Center (the Frank Gehry building).  below, working in the beautiful Beech Room at the Cambridge Public Library. From left, Kim Van Antwerp, Carol Jones, Ingrid Wangsvik, Sharon Manewitz, Sam Norgard, Sheila Prosterman, and a snitch of Laura Shea.

Class in the Cambridge Library

below, Kim and I under one of the polished chrome surfaces of the Stata.

Kate and Kim in the Gehry

And I met Ray Magliozzi. Just because I like to tag along with people I like (like I am a stray dog that keeps following them around) I followed my friend to go get his car out of the garage and I met Ray. And he misses his brother something awful. I gave him a tight tight hug and told him I did too, and thanked him for all of the laughter and love.

Kate and Ray Magliozzi

I wouldn’t have met either Ray or the architect if we hadn’t at Miracle of Science – the pull of that golden Down East cider has logged another victory.

The things that are happening lately are feeding into an interesting little idea I have that every triangle seems to naturally find a series of infinitely changing fourth points to use for rotational balance or to find the correct alignment to work within or work around time and space. I can’t see the balance point, but it seems to be unfixed; there are so many possible ways for a triangle to touch things.

It feels like MY balance is sought by the center of my personal trianglulation (which I do with every thing, thought, motion or idea that I have or am) and not any edge, angle or point. And some people or buildings or places or moments allow me to balance on them, in them, and I can reach not only what I can reach but what they can reach, what they are, as well.

Somehow, that reach must work both ways, if they want it to.

Jack Wisdom and Kate McKinnon by Kyle Cassidy

Bill is something else; he is his own system, and when I am with him, our systems merge. It’s exhilarating, beautiful, elegant, and life-affirming. We flow in and out of each other, full system to system. He is my home, just like the desert, the sky, the cities. I see him again in DC, in early November, for the annual Planetary meeting. It’s the Pluto team’s victory lap, I want to be there to celebrate them.

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 10.22.31 AM

Right now, at this very minute (while I am on the curled tip of the Cape) he is walking on a glacier in Canada with a Japanese TV team. I am thinking of him, out of range of phones, finally getting to walk on and touch the living ice that he studies.

Oddly, although he is deeply involved in the study of ice, he has never gone to a Terran glacier before. I guess he was just saving it for now.

Bill adorable

8 thoughts on “hello October

  1. Hi Kate!
    Hope you are enjoying P’town….I love it there. I was just thinking of you the other day. I’m thinking about a new camera, and was wondering if you are still using your Olympus PEN & are happy with it. (Although I see you are using the camera in your phone, too.)
    I love the photo of you and Jack Wisdom….he looks so unperturbed with you sneaking up behind him.


    • Hi Terri! I loved my Pen. I sort of destroyed it. I only use my IPhone 6S now, the new 12mp model. It is mindbending. Can’t do everything, but it does enough. I can’t carry around anything more. Not ever again.

      Also, Jack did not know I was behind him. Not at all.

  2. Really great post, Kate. MIT must have been so exciting, and will be so exciting in January. Those photos of Jack just slay me. And meeting Ray Magliozzi of all people–I’m sure you chatted him well. Did he ask you what color your Miata was?

    • I didn’t tell Ray ANYTHING except how much I loved him and how sorry I was about Tom and how I once accosted two men in the SeaTac airport and again on a ferry going out to an island because I was sure that they were Tom and Ray. I mostly just gazed at him rapturously. And I am never leaving MIT again. Unless I road trip up to Harvard or to RISD or something like that. Why would I? I have to break it to Miss Fish, she’s moving to Boston.

  3. So glad to read all this. It’s all wonderful. And you are the right person for this.
    From the moment you arrived in Boston and declared your love I knew that this would happen. How and what you would be doing there was totally unclear, but I knew that Boston would be your future home. I was wondering about Miss Fish – maybe she’ll love Boston too. Who knows… ;-)

  4. Well you have written a post about many impressive things that you and done and experienced, but I am most impressed that you met Ray Magliozzi.

    I love the photo of the Harvard Yard with the chairs of many colors.

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