Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"Jump or think," - R Buckminster Fuller

When the alarm woke me this morning, I was engrossed in a particularly vivid dream.

In the dream, I was a cyborg: I looked like a human, but I was actually a robot (pictured is an artist's impression of my cyborg self with a cute little cyborg hottie I picked up in the Virtual Love Lounge nightclub - I told you it was a vivid dream).

It was strange because the only part of the deram that I remembered was that I was trying to help a man and I wasn't able to (yes, I know it's vague, but the alarm went off and it shatters your dream memories). I felt a sense of total, overwhelming responsibility and compassion for humans (which is often more than I feel in real life), and when the alarm went off I was crying in my dream with a sense of utter abandon.

Weird, huh? All interpretations gratefully received.

The effervescent Clarky was not at the Office today due to contracting the lurgy. Here at the Heights, we have a lot of sympathy for fellow lurgy sufferers. Being ill sucks, it's official. We're sending Lisa intensely healing vibes through the ether (and you know how powerful the ether can be.....no, I think I'm thinking of the ethanol. My mistake) and hope it makes all the difference.

The office is not the same without Clarky, and I know that loads of us in the Culture Office feel very disappointed not to see her today. I think we have all come to look forward to Tuesdays as a magical day when little work gets done, but much joy is spread and a good time had by all (lucky good time). Get well soon Clarky, our Tuesday happiness misses you.

In conversation with my boss from London today on the results of a survey I designed for him, he used a phrase that I had never heard before and intend to use often:

"It's like trying to photograph love."

Isn't that one of the most beautiful expressions you've ever heard? I'm very lucky with bosses, I think.

Today was not another toddler day, unfortunately. The grey weather this morning made the Square resemble Sherlockian London, and I felt as though the dark clouds had somehow crept with dark, damp fingers beneath my skin. I did not want to get up. I did not want to go to work. I did not want to deal with the fact that I had to do things I did not want to do.

But I did these things anyway. Sometimes you just have to swallow the frog. Gulp.

And I extended the same rule of frog-swallowing to work. I wasn't in the mood to write the briefing paper summary, but I did it anyway. I wasn't in the mood to summarise the CIPFA data for the Chief, but I did it anyway.

Curiously, these tasks were not as bad as my dread of them. Encouragingly, in doing all of my duties today I discovered some fantastic facts and several inviting inspirations. My very favourite of these was the Liverpool Public Library. Not in the UK, I fear, but in New York (how we love all things New York, how we love its bustling squawk - that's my poetry writing done for the day, and now I just need to deal with being 10 000 words down on my novel!).

Liverpool Public Library, NY looks awesome, and I haven't even been there. Well, I have, but only virtually. Check out their website:

http://www.lpl.org/

In particular, have a look at the TumblingTalkingBooks link, which I know is about to change my life. You can listen to all these books online - audio heaven and virtual Valhalla. I intend to start with Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin by Marion Meade - for obvious reasons - we never get enough of La Parker.

Then, have a quick nose at the fact that you can join online, that you can book a meeting room online, and look at the 23 books challenge (I wanna do it!! I wanna do it!! I want the t-shirt!). This site really made my day.

I'm also reading one of the most interesting books, that I've waited for ages from the City's libraries for (OK, it was about three weeks, but it felt like longer). It's called 'Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything' by Steven D Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner. It's a very hard book to describe really, but in essence, Levitt is an economist who explores a series of issues around the central premise: "if morality represents how people would like the world to work, then economics shows how it actually does work." Certainly from the first chapter at least, the two things (morality and economics) don't seem so far apart, but I may have a strange sense of morality.

For someone like me, who barely knows what economics is and finds the mention of it generally boring snoring, this book is a revelation and a brilliant read. Highly recommended, if you please.

Today's poem, from Sir Walter Raleigh, no less:

I wish I loved the Human Race

I wish I loved its silly face

I wish I liked the way it walks

I wish I liked the way it talks

And when I'm introduced to one

I wish I thought What Jolly Fun!


For today's quotes, we turn to the Chief's inspiration du jour, R. Buckminster Fuller:

"You can either make money or you can make sense." "Dare to be naive." "Everything you've learned in school as 'obvious' becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the Universe. For example, there are no solids in the Universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines." "Either war is obsolete or men are." "I think I am a verb." "I am the only guinea pig I have."

Buckminster Fuller is a hard person to describe or introduce. He was an inventor and eclectic thinker, and somewhat of a philosopher; but he thought of himself as a guinea pig for a whole new way of life and he believed that every human being had a purpose to be fulfilled. He has been credited as the inventor of the geodesic dome and the power nap, amongst other things, and if you are really interested in finding out more about him, then check out some of his sites on the web.

http://www.bfi.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckminster_Fuller

Seems to me that Fuller is a fantastic example of the power of dreams, and by that I mean the peculiar skill of setting our goals wisely and then focusing on them, every day; making them the central hub from which everything we do flows.

So, the Chief introduced me to Buckminster Fuller today and Miss Sally introduced me to a rather delicious piece of jewellery, courtesy of Tiffany's New York. Miss Sally bought hers from New York last year, and although I have never considered myself partial to the temptations of Tiffany, I really, really, really would like one of these. Who wouldn't?

Today's 3 Beautiful Things

1. Perking up in the afternoon and becoming mischievous (Miss Sally's word) rather than glum

2. Appreciation from an old friend

3. Tiffanys'! Tiffany's! Tiffany's!

2 comments:

Lisa...yes, Clark said...

You're absolutely right, who wouldn't want a piece of Tiffany's jewellery - that miss Sally is the queen of all things pretty!

So, while I'm touched and even blushin' slightly 'bout your talk of magic Tuesdays and lovin' the virtual healing vibes (I'm feelin' bit better, but lookin' shocking, can't face my public 'til the rudolf nose has completely subsided!) I may have to sue your peachy bee-hind for defermation of character - what's this about little work being done when I'm around? You'll do me out of a job miss Chevverchops - although, I think there's a lot to be said for creating a positive 'tude in the work place, in fact if the Chief is reading, that's priceless y'know -and I did work yesterday from my sick bed, that is dedication!

Anyway look at me taking over The Daily! Big hugs...

L x

Anonymous said...

Another good one from Fuller: "We are now synergetically forced to conclude
that all phenomena are metaphysical; wherefore, as many have long
suspected-like it or not-life is but a dream."
source: http://www.rwgrayprojects.com/synergetics/intro/well.html

CJ Fearnley
Executive Director
Synergetics Collaborative
http://synergeticists.org