Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The hobo rides and rides and rides/
I will eat anything that's fried.
- John Hodgman, The Hobo's Lament

I went out walking to the Biosphere today, the weird environmental museum cum memorial to Buckminster Fuller.

It's inside an enormous geodesic dome, which Bucky would have loved, given that he invented them and all.  The museum hovers inside the dome like a floating house, as if Dorothy's Aunty Em had invested in solar and wind power before the tornado.  The guest book entries all say one of two things: either, "It was great, I liked it," or, "It was boring."  I can imagine not liking it, but I don't know how it could be boring.

The last time I went to the Biosphere -- the last time I was in Montreal in the summer at all -- I was with J. It brought back such a painfully overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and loss; when you go somewhere with a person, and then go there again without that person and with the certain knowledge that said person will never go to said place with you again, it becomes unbearably sad. It helped a bit that it was cloudy and grey today; when we first went, it was sunny and bright, and the park surrounding the Biosphere was full of frolicking youth splashing in fountains.

While walking through that grey and exhausted park, the full weight of my thoughts pressed down on me: is my car irreparably broken?  What am I doing next?  What mistakes have I made that I can't see the consequences of?

Bucky believed that those who were poor or with few resources could still make a difference, although you'd never guess it from reading what he wrote; I bought J a book of Buckminster Fuller's writing once, as BF was a hero of his, and ended up reading parts of the incomprehensible prose aloud in incredulity.  But he invented so many forward-thinking alternative processes: conservationist, alternative energy sources...alternative ways to live, anti-consumption, anti-hate.  He was a pretty cool guy, Bucky.

I wandered through the park, reflecting on how the path I've chosen, of constant motion, while comfortable to me, also means I won't get very much time to myself.  I'll always be a guest in other people's homes, and always having to leave someone.  Moving means leaving as much as going towards.  Thinking of time to myself reminds me yet again of J, and the comfortable silence we used to find.

It's hard seeing each thing that we did together for the first time by myself.  It's hard finding a path to walk on when you've been holding someone's hand your entire life.  It was a good hand to hold.   

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