Friday, February 18, 2011

The truth jurts, but not THAT much...


I’m sitting in the Argo Tea on Belmont satellite office rehashing old thoughts when I have an epiphany. Time to accept it. Time to step out of the fog of shame and confess.

I’m an architect...


I exist in the world, but live in my mind...

*crickets* (one cricket calls out mock-surprised, “Nooo, you’re kidding me!?)

It’s true, but it’s not the withdrawn out of touch with reality sort of living in my mind. It’s the intense, creative, calculating sort. Like
Dom Cobb, I perceive the boundary between inside and out. When inside I know I’m there. When outside I’m not fooling myself into jumping out of a freakin’ window to wake up. Unlike Dom, I’m not imprisoning memories of regret to torture myself with, nor am I “inside” to escape reality in favor of some fictional bliss. Life’s not a freakin’ movie ya know! (althoOUugh folding Parisian streets would be cool).


I call this world inside my mind “a vast territory of madness.”

Try this: Imagine the most mechanical, icy calm you can muster. Now remove those last bits of bliss and “fuzzy” contentment (without also adding angst and self-consciousness). Got it?

Good! Let’s call what you’re imagining “dead-pan serious”. Now imagine me (you don’t have to really KNOW me, work with me here)! Imagine
me, THAT dead-pan serious when I say this next thing; it’s a statement of pure fact, like saying the ocean’s big:

I harbor no self-loathing, regret, nor resentment for this “madness” of mine. I unapologetically own it, and have done so for a long time. Some tell me I’ve an exceptional asset, to which I reply, “thanks, I’m a cyclist.”

I’m not being smart, or clever (well, that part about my asset is a little clever). I’m ranting attempting to kill a myth, or wound it so badly that it’ll bleed to death in the woods. A myth born in the mind of
everyman and now being perpetuated by architects themselves; that architects are self-absorbed, out-of-touch, and out-of-reach.


To the architects reading this who are self-absorbed with their own success: *waving my hand in your faces, snapping my fingers* You there? hello?! Whatever...

To the architects reading this who are self-absorbed with pity at the current state of the profession:
Read this stat! Now quit your crying!

To the architects who’ve got a handle on their self-absorption, and to the curious onlookers (who aren’t fazed by the sight of imaginary blood): Read on and prepare to feast upon the myth I’m about to take out with this stick I’ve sharpened on a rock.

Hey, curious onlookers! Since you’re obviously riveted by my writing prowess still reading you can help. Just try and keep up as wounded myths are highly dangerous - besides it’s seen you with me and now it thinks we’re a hunting party.


Remember the “vast territory of madness” I mentioned? All architects have one (the right one’s do anyway), and we each call it something different. Whatever it’s named, it functions as a “problem space”; the mental place where we construct the scope of whatever “problem” we’re dealing with. We fill this “space” with the variables that guide us to solutions. Items like client needs, client desires, and constraints of all sorts; even gravity’s there. It’s a lot of complex information that we become the custodian of and constantly tend to; revising, updating, and correcting. We can get pretty preoccupied with it all, but everyman, If you feel we’re fading and losing touch with you, “just give us the safe word and take your hand and smack us in the mouth”. We’ll re-focus!


I know it’s hard to believe but architects don’t use jargon to make walls. We use concrete. It makes a much better wall. Though we may occasionally utter strange words belonging to some freakish internal dialogue. It’s no biggie that’s just the pressure of excitement escaping the seal separating our ”real” internal world from the real external one (it’s a self-regulating system). Everyman, if you feel we’re getting cryptic and beyond your reach, call us out. I know a saucy blogger who’d suggest an “eye-motherfuckin-roll” followed by a snappy wise-crack as a chaser (careful when you click that link, I’m pretty sure her words could kick your ass).

Well now! After all that I could eat this whole myth myself. Want some?