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February 9, 2005

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           Today the job took me, Ben, and Joel to Tacoma where we removed about 40 windows from a 1910s brick house being remodeled. The interior was cool--all the wall plaster had been removed but the lath was intact. My friend Michael Gates once proposed covering lath walls with clear resin and I could now see how cool that would be. |||| I don't know why it is, but some moments seem to crystallize into enduring memories and one knows it immediately. For me, they involve light and pass too quickly for me ever to photograph them. Today it was the insulation installer standing in the late afternoon sun. After carrying bundles of pink fiberglass, he paused a moment to brush himself off. Fibers and dust hung in the air around him, a deadly aura, catching the low-angled golden light prettily. I say "deadly" because recent findings show fiberglass to be equally or even more hazardous than asbestos. I felt bad for the guy because he wasn't wearing a respirator, but there's really nothing one can say. The best I could do was show by example, which I did by wearing my facemask with pink fine particulate filters. (At those times when I want to take it off because it's tight and sweaty, I think how much more uncomfortable I'd be later with breathing tubes down my nose and throat.) |||| Benny the rockstacker is back from Hawai'i. He was excited to tell me how he'd been invited to stack rocks at a buddhist temple, where the resident monks stack rocks as a form of meditation. He related how he'd made a dozen sculptures in 6 minutes. One monk said, You stack fast. Benny asked if that was bad. No, not at all. In fact, the reason they meditated was to get to the point where they could do what Benny was doing effortlessly. But the funny thing was, Benny was attempting a simple stack while he was telling the story but he couldn't get it to stand. It's hard to be in two places at once, I said. He said, Exactly!, stopped trying, hugged the big stone to his chest, and finished his story....