Part II – Bear Referendum
Chapter 17 – Citian Level Architecture
June 22, 1996, Saturday, sunny with haze
[15:43 @ WCWC HO]
This morning I got up around 06:00, as is my usually schedule when I’m on the road – physically can’t sleep in if I wanted to – showered and shampooed, as is my daily habit, had breakfasts with Colleen and Rob, and left around 07:20 to catch the 08:00 Swartz Bay ferry back to Vancouver. While leaving, I brought out my camcorder and taped these two lovely people with their dogs while they were standing at the door in their bath robes, waving good-bye.
After a few blocks, the cell phone rang (604-230-4703). It was Colleen, telling me that I had left a jacket and a shirt behind, and Rob was chasing me to bring them to me. I pulled off the road near downtown. Momentarily he pulled up behind me, and came out of his jeep, still in his bath robe. “You’d better watch it, Rob, you could get arrested dressed like that.” We laughed our second good-bye.
Not surprised to come across Paul, Adriane, their son T.J. and Sue on the ferry, and sat with them through the 1.7 hour voyage. Paul said, “You’re a much better listener than me. When I don’t like what I begin to hear, I just block the rest out. But you really do listen. I respect that.”
During the ferry crossing, while everyone was doing his/her own thing, I read. The book in hand was Wilbur Smith’s When the Lion Feeds. I came across the dialogue between big game trophy hunter Sean Courtenay and his friend Duff. Duff, a nonhunter, asked Sean why he had to kill such magnificent animals as the elephant. Sean replied that it was a matter of love, that he loved the animals so much that he had to possess it, and the only way to possess it, to Sean, was to kill it. I read the passage out loud to Adriane. She groaned a couple of times, but asked me for the title of the book, saying she had read Smith before, and would like to read this one.
Dropped by the office after the ferry. Lisa Moffatt was here and gone. Bonita, who also went to Victoria, wouldn’t be back till the late afternoon. We’ll have a meeting tomorrow at 10:30.
Called parents around noon, and went to their place to eat “jung” – steam sticky rice with other ingredients wrapped in bamboo or lotus leaves. They looked healthy and happy.
A lot of other calls to catch up with friends, especially Roxy (Flood, former lover), Grant (Coburn, chess buddy) and Shawn Blore (free lance writer keen on the campaign).
[21:56] Incredible as it may seem, I’m home, in my own bed, watching TV! Just came back from a heart warming dinner with Roxy and Elizabeth, Roxy’s 20-year old daughter. Love them both deeply.
On the television now is an extraordinary film titled One More Mountain, about the pioneering Donner Party that was stuck in the mountains through a severe Rocky Mountain winter, and decimated by cold and starvation. So courageous, so brutal, so tragic, so heroic. As was Roxy’s life. One example will suffice. When she was heavily pregnant with Elizabeth, her then husband Raymond came home drunk, turned violent, pushed her on to the floor and tried to “kick out the baby”. Roxy and Elizabeth were saved by Roxy’s friend Joan who fell on top of Roxy and shielded Roxy’s abdomen with her body. To this day, Elizabeth suffers debilitating emotional problems.
This makes me think of Christopher again. I love him so much, treated him so gently, devoted to him so much of myself, and am forbidden to see him, while brutes like Raymond could directly cause such devastating effects on Elizabeth life. Where is God’s love for these children? When will there be justice for them, and for me? How can such heartlessness exist? Why should such tyranny prevail?
On the TV screen, the Donner Party is still dying.
I could stand the Donner Party ordeal no more, even just vicariously. As if to end their suffering, I switched off the TV, and walked down the hill to the beach by moonlight. There, I looked out to sea, and saw waves rising and falling, except those at the water’s margin, where they were smashed to pieces by the rocks.
When another wave came crashing upon the shore, Raminothna said, “For the wave, it is tragic, but for the sea, it is a triumph.”
“Waves are like lives rising from the sea of humanity,” said Raminothna, “whose sole purpose it seems is to wear down the land barring its way to the sea beyond. But while the sea itself advances, the waves have different destinies. Whereas all waves are born at sea, only the unfortunate few, or the fortunate, depending on your point of view, are smashed upon the murderous rocks. And depending on your point of view, may you live out your life out at sea and die amidst your playful brethren, or may you find your way to the unyielding shore, and claim your grain of sand.”
Good night, Christopher.
June 23, 1996, Sunday, sunny with showers
[13:36 @ home]
Got to the office at 10:40 to meet with the Bear Referendum Team. The E-Team announced that Erica had been let go for personal and semi-professional reasons. I had known about this for some time, and saw it coming even before that decision was made, and had discussed it with Erica before it happened, but to no avail, and this morning, the announcement, as well as the presence Erica’s replacement Lisa, pretty much saw the matter closed.
Bonita was already there, and Lisa came in a few minutes later. The three of us debriefed on both sides, then went into brainstorming, discussing, planning, re-organizing, delegating and projecting. Basically, Bonita will continue to develop the Lower Mainland electoral districts, and Lisa will work on the BC Interior in terms of organizing the road tour, and I will execute the road tour through the BC Interior by myself, which is my personal preference. An extra-lone Lone Ranger, one without even a Tonto – that’s my style.
And what does a lone ranger do most in his free time? Read. My current novel is The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. This story stands out in two aspects:
One, it portrays a highly creative architect who was ostracized by the highly conservative architectural community of the era.
Two, it is itself a highly creative work, standing above the average by virtue of its being, above all, a work of philosophy, a philosophy embraced and lived by the architect Howard Roark himself.
Raminothna loves Howard, but about the book, she said, “This book deals brilliantly with infra-Citian level of architecture, but did not touch upon the Citian level of architecture at all.”
“Please explain.” This is becoming one of my standard responses to Raminothna’s new revelations.
“Let’s go for a ride,” she said. Don’t know if it makes sense to you, but Raminothna loves riding the motorcycle as much as I do.
When I was warming up the bike, she directed my eyes up across the Burrard Inlet to the summit of Mount Cypress, and that’s where we went.
I was sitting on a bluff overlooking the city of Vancouver from 3,000 ft. up Mount Cypress, soaking up the view of the city laid out beneath me. Through my binoculars, I could make out the delicate Lions Gate Bridge, the buildings downtown, the flying-saucer-shaped revolving restaurant atop a skyscraper, the soft-topped BC Place stadium, the geodesic dome of Science World… all innovative architectural masterpieces in their own right.
“These are examples of infra-Citian architecture,” said Raminothna.
“Oh, yes. You mentioned ‘Citian Level architecture’. What do you mean by that?”
“It is not yet a concern of yours at this point of your social development, but tell me, what does the city of Vancouver as a whole remind you of?”
For some reason, I found my eyes momentarily looking down at the rock on which I was perched, and focusing on a patch of lichen attached from edge to edge to the surface of the rock. “This. The city of Vancouver, from an areal perspective, looks like a patch of lichen attached to a huge rock.”
“Imagine this patch of lichen evolving into a sparrow, which then flies away. Now, the current lichen-like Vancouver is a city, and so will be the future sparrow-like Vancouver a city, but one capable of flight. The appearance, structure and dynamics of a city in flight is the creation of Citian level architecture,” said Raminothna.
“Are you talking about city-sized interstellar space-ships?”
Yes indeed. In spite of its gleaming glass and chrome towers, and burgeoning high-tech industrial parks, each a minor architectural masterpiece, they are nonetheless pieces of infra-Citian level architecture. The lichen-like patch of Vancouver itself, on the other hand, has yet little Citian level architectural achievement to speak of. On this level, we have a long long way to go. In fact, we hardly even started.
The Fortunate and The Called Upon
at your service
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)