And Gutenberg Lived Here: What Age Is My Architecture?

Several years ago our clique,

picture “Friends” on a much larger scale,

was discussing God and the world,

like we always do,

when the math and history types suddenly closed ranks,

and decided the only thing to do was sing mathematical songs,

followed by the courtly songs of the worshipful high Emir

of some place we had never heard of,

but our totally a-tonal historian

had learned from a cd

and loved to chant.

At which we literature types took the ball,

on the tenth yard line-

fourth down and eight to go-

probably because the opposition was still getting the chalk dust out of their lungs,

(and had had just a tad more to drink than the non-science types)

and ran with it.

“You are definitely a genetic throwback to the eighteenth century”

“And that makes you age of Henry the eighth.”

Well, by the time the night was over, we had:

decided that zodiac signs were totally beneath our dignity ,

and everyone present should be gifted with a historic age,

and historic job-

a pirate in the seventeenth century, for example,

musician at the court of Henry VIII,

court mathematician at the time of Newton,

writer of Gargantuel in the 18th century,

reciter of royal histories and family stories in the fifteenth century.

And, of course,

as the moon went down, and the blue time came up-

if you were a building, which architecture would you be?

Which turned out to be the most fascinating of all:

a Victorian hoo-haa,

a fake ruin in a garden,

the palace of Versailles,

and in one case,

a mathematician, but not my Harald,

who is, believe me, capable of much better repartee,

a kingly doghouse near a hunting lodge deep in the woods,

so he could be left alone to drink, and finally do some math.

I think about that kind of night often,

and wonder

  1. how we ever got down those steep hills in the dark, with only a small intense-beam flashlight and two candles
  2. (that was before I bought a huge whopping great beam light, which turned out to be too big to be carried around comfortably)
  3. why these people have suddenly gotten so serious all of a sudden, and now do strange things like banking- the one who once was a pirate-  hmm
  4. If anyone in their right mind would actually do this for real today. (Sad, but I almost, for their sake, hope not.)

And I think back to the one thing that sort of made sense to me those darkening fall days,

with the moon setting and the sun coming up, and us trying to outdo each other writing

highly literary poetry-

the ode to the Pitjes peanuts-

hey, he was a moon-rock physicist-

the theory that there is a holistic rightness in the world that pervades all things,

and that therefore, for example,

you may find that a village that was built in the nineteenth century,

of red factory brick,

and hasn’t changed since,

now is linked to a new shopping mall-

three years old,

with a brand spanking new subdivision built around it,

and a group of super-spanking new bakeries, coffee shops, Chinese or Korean food,

etc etc

filling the rest of the need for “modern old”

Each town, according to when it was built

and how fast the local historical preservation authority got there,

has a sort of irreversible time stamp on it.

Which, when you think about it,

often contain the kind of people who fit that time stamp.

Sort of like Rod Serling, of The Twilight Zone,

choosing a town in upstate New York,

quite similar to the Gilmore Girls’ ‘Stars Hollow’

and moving in.

Because he felt comfortable writing there.

Me, I always wanted a one-room glass octagon,

with a piano,

on a cliff,

with the sea crashing,

and a stiff breeze.

And Harald,

at a desk,

in his glass second floor add-on tower,

directing Mahler

as he writes math.

Or comes down to watch a murder mystery with me,

rolling on the floor in laughter at any bad mention of all things mathematcial.

And just what this holistic theory

of the age of each human being,

his architectural age,

and the age of how and where he chooses to live,

and what he chooses to do with his life,

has to do with a  someone wishing to spend time in a camping trailer,

I really haven’t quite sorted out yet.

Copyright 2017




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