Saturday, April 30, 2005

The life of the mind

Architect Ricardo Guillermo in dance performance

"Every day acts of healing,
caring for others, acknowledging the
joy of interacting with, elevating and
experiencing our fellow travelers, and
that joy of our own miraculous lives,
we encounter opportunities to bring
about a greater sense of community,
cooperation, enjoyment of each other'
s company and the force that binds us
all as one, indivisible with all life, the
planet and the universe."

I love the Internet. I used to love card catalogs. You look up one thing, find a dozen other things that interest you even more, and then that leads to yet other adventures. Of course, the adventures are only in the mind.

But why do I say "only"?

Are not all experiences experienced in the mind? And has it even been settled what"mind" is?

Leaving that question for another day, let me just say that my father was right when he said that one who doesn't read only experiences one life...and append that to day that through the Internet, one may experience thousands, millions, billions! Well, thousands. Hundreds maybe.
OK. Six.

Whatever the number is, it is surely more than one, and less than one hundred billion.

The Internet is Megamind. Not to be confused with Megajesus, say, or Metatron, who are, alas real people and myths. In the Internet, you can find people you haven't seen in years, decades, yugas. Ricardo is one such person. I wonder if I can remember our very last conversation. Will have to think on that one. Strange how divorces and such can weaken fabrics.

Ricardo was certainly an Idea person. When I knew him, and hung out, he was working on his Master's thesis at MIT in Architecture. He had coined the term "Aquatecture", and was designing life pods and environments that could exist in and under water. One of his colleagues, Mr. Javed Sultan, was also working on projects that benefitted humanity. Javed was working on ways to create homes, boats and such out of such inexpensive and lightweight materials as mud and chickenwire, and, as I recall, he had these strong, low-cost shelters built in impoverished places.

We would have potluck dinners at Ricardo's or Javed's or our place, or Jan Brown's, or some other's kitchen in the weird salad of Cambridge intelligentia. Sometimes we'd head over to Tom Trainor's beautiful place over in Brookline. Javed might give a slide show of his travels, or Ricardo would explain his newest creation, or Monty Allen, the Peace Corp animal photographer would share his latest shots. (Monty had a way with animals. Once on a whale watch, he was the only one to whom the eventual whale showed its full greatness. Sprang straight out of the water! We were huddled below deck, having given up. New England oceans can be cold even in summer.)

Anyway, to make a long story is good to see people doing well. It is also good to able to see that people are doing well.

The life of the mind. Not a bad invention.