What is that thing that is missing from your life which, when you think of it or see it held by others, makes you weep? Our world is so reduced in every good quality that I can’t imagine that everyone doesn’t have this experience. For some people, though, it simply comes out as a ravenous craving for novelty, because the experience of unease and never having what nature requires becomes built into the character. But that’s for frivolous and thoughtless people, and I don’t think any of my actual readers are frivolous people.
For me, a sense of place is the thing for which I continually grieve. Where is the city beautiful in which I might be a citizen? Why do people think it’s acceptable to put ugly and useless things into their spaces? Why are places no longer defined by the humanity that inhabits them? This is one of the main reasons I hate idealism, why I hate this expectation that people are supposed to impose theory upon reality, rather than seek and engage and build on what’s most real in the reality around them.
Well, I guess everyone who thinks about these things comes round to Christopher Alexander eventually. In a perfect world, I might have been an architect and learned from him and gone to University of Oregon. Instead I design jewelry and look at these pictures late at night with tears in my eyes.
What makes you weep by its absence?