If I was to meet The Buddha Frank Lloyd Wright on the road...

Frank Lloyd Wright famously said that as a young person he had to choose between false modesty and honest arrogance, and he chose the latter and never regretted it. I love that. All my life I have had to put up with what I call: "dwarfs": Petty people who have power over me, cause me trouble, stifle me and repress me. They ideate that nobody, or at least me, is or should be better than they are.

As I have recently read Ludwig Wittgenstein said: Most people are not worth much. They should keep in their place and not soil and spoil what is above them to degrade it to their low level. But is that the end of the story? I think not. I think there could be hope for them. I am not Frank Lloyd Wright. At least as an architect, and perhaps in other ways too he is above me, albeit I have done a couple simple architectural designs the validity of which I am prepared to defend even to himself. So here's what I suggest, if I was to meet The Buddha Mr. Wright on the road, or what a dwarf could do if he (she, other) just follows my example:

"Hello, Mr. Wright. I understand that you think you are superior to other people. You certainly have good reason to feel that way, since you create beautiful designs for buildings and most people do not create anything. Perhaps I am among them, at least in being below you.

"But let me respectfully say some things to you, Mr Wright. You know it is an accident of fortune that you are what people call a "genius" and they are just dwarfs, yes? You could have been born to be one of them, and one of them could have been born to be what you have turned out to be, yes? You did not create yourself, [w]right? And you could at any moment of your life have had a cerebral hemorrhage that would take away your genius, yes? If it didn't kill you you might think back on the genius you no longer were. So there is a limit to how superior you are, yes? You are not superior to Fortune, yes?

"So I think you should be humble, not to me, but to yourself, and appreciate your good fortune in life. I envy you. But I do not want to tear you down to be a person like me who has not accomplished anything, because that would deprive the world and myself of what your gifts have given to it through your life. No, I want to rise to your level. Can you reach a hand down to help me up?

"I want to be at your level. But I can't do it all by myself. You want your architecture to be appreciated by people, at least enough that they will pay you to build the stuff and maintain your architectural practice, yes? So you are not averse to speaking with persons beneath yourself, since there are few if any who are not beneath you, including your patrons, yes? So can you speak with me in a way I can understand to help me raise myself up? Or at least speak with me in a way that I can dialogically rise up to understand you by me explaining how I do not yet understand you? Is that a commission you are up to taking on, Mr. Wright?

"I want to be up there with you, and I am asking for your help. If I get there, maybe we can collaborate to raise both ourselves up even higher? And isn't intelligent conversation something high in itself, and the more intelligent the conversation, the higher it, and therefore the conversants, rise, yes? Can we try to build a great conversation together and see where it goes from there? If I fail to measure up, I will admit that and accept that my place is indeed below you. But I do not feel I have had a fair shot at it, yet in my life -- in part because I have never had an opportunity to engage with anyone at your high level. Most of the people I encounter cannot help me -- I have to dumb down my discourse to interact with them. But I am looking to you for a change, a change for the better, Mr. Wright? How about it, Sir?"


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BMcC signature seal stamp. Modelled on 18th century messenger's letter box in collection of Suntory Museum, Tokyo. Japanese write poems and prayers on slips of paper which they tie into knots like this shape although with longer legs. Prayers are often tied to branches of trees which can look like they are covered with snow. "Symbol of a symbol, image of an image, emerging from the destiny that is sinking into darkness...." (H. Broch, "The Sleepwalkers", p.648) Always remember. Add value. (This image created not later than 21 May 2003)Invenit et fecit

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2022-05-13 11:41:18