Wednesday 1.20.10

The Blue Line at NBBJ - Photo by Sean Airhart/NBBJ Seattle

A Strict Schedule

Having to be at work at 8am, I pushed off in my rowboat at 7. It was going to be close. I’d have to concentrate on smooth strokes and be quick about tying up. Just out of my slip, half way across the canal, my starboard oarlock broke. oooO? And hmMmm. I wonder now, am I going to be the kind of poet who scurries back and gets in a car, or am I going to be the kind of poet who keeps going, with one oar? Adventure calls! I tried a few methods, even lashed the oar with a bit of rope to the holder, but that only chewed up the wood which splintered off in strips. I resigned to standing up and flipping one oar back and forth, right hand to left, overhead. A new fencing move. A heavy baton. My arms were already tired. O thank you still waters. What queer questions I fielded that morning from rowers in the lake. For some reason, there were lots of rowers about today. Perhaps the calm water were calling them. One says to me, “Where are you going?” I answer, “The Center for Wooden Boats.” I wasn’t anywhere near it, by the way. He replies, “You’ll make it.” How wonderfully hysterical! Later, a crew of gray-haired men in a skull, call out to me, “How come you don’t use the other oar?” What fun. I tell them, “I’m rowing creatively.”

Site Visit

I arrived at NNBJ at 8:30 and not 8:10am. I have missed my party. I quickly sorted out the necessary equipment and whereabouts of the site and walked off to 5th & Harrison hoping to connect with the IRIS team for a visit to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With a few questions to the right people, I am suddenly there, in a trailer with the crew. It’s a miracle! Grease soaked donuts in a white box on the table just out of reach. No way was I going to ask for one, but o I live the hungry life. After a few competently-handled RFIs, we readied for the tour and set off to see the hot spots. I felt a little dizzy between the work of the week & the work of the morning, not having eaten & needing sleep, but I hung in there and leaned, when I needed to, against the steel-studs. O glorious building. O curve!


I attended another lunchtime presentation, this one about the changes in LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification. It wasn't a wildly exciting talk, but the information was needed by those who attended. The lunchroom talks are inevitably accompanied by PowerPoint displays. I spend time thinking about how the images work with and against the the verbal information. How else can an image support, deepen and further our speech? Are they simply visual fires, offered as a focus point, not to distract but to pacify us? Is this necessary? What does it make up for?
After hearing the whole of the information, I wonder, is the intention being lost? Is this innovation for innovation's sake or are we truly thinking? How does a certification program encourage thought? How does it discourage thought? My thoughts as I walk out the door are: Where is the tree? WHere are the birds? When does the river bend? I go off with confusing thoughts. I'm excited to learn more about The Living Building Challenge and troubled to think that until recently you couldn't collect rainwater from your roof to use for flushing your toilet and in many places it's illegal to hang your laundry. It seems sometimes as if we're taking the long way to what making sense.

The Blue Line

In the afternoon, I found my place on the blue line and took up my white crayon. Being tired, it took a lot longer to pick up threads. I spent much time looking out the windows. A fine response.

Photo by Sean Airhart/NBBJ Seattle


Landlocked, I stopped into West Marine on my walk home and purchased a set of 2¼” stainless oarlocks. I have no idea if they are the right size or if they match the material on my rowboat. I can’t quite say what my airlocks are made of. I must be living in a dream.

Tonight is the night I clean a friend’s house. O, woe, o. I must persist. $40 is $40.

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