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Welcome to Saved by Design

April 6, 2020

New Stuff:

In Emily’s Days: The Bell Tolls

In Random StuffFrank Lloyd Wright Is Dead, Again


In Absence: Easters

In Left To Myself: At Sea

In Not (As) Fat: One Meal A Day

In Finding Home: Justification

In The Rules: Between Rocks & Hard $$$

In Silence In SpringFlaw Flourishes

In Days ’till Spring: 40 Days

We Have Reached A Point of Unending

April 7, 2020

41 of 47

In all of this, we forget that this is The Coronavirii Golden Era: massive victory all across the globe. From living in Duck Poop, to inside a Bat, then, BAM! WORLD DOMINATION!

Rather than writing the rules, we are being ruled.

No, in these few months we have been fully changed from normal to “Normal?” where nothing is a Home. When we are Home, we might not be one that we know. But in not knowing in the Era of Knowing, we are (not) dead in the water.

Today, tomorrow, last week, next month are only different in the world that is not us. Spring has sprung, and we must view it as Emily Dickinson did, pretty much isolated in our rooms. So we tap on screens, do our jobs if we have them. Sort of. And have no control other than the next meal.

The rest of the earth is changing because it remains in full ignorance of these malicious cells that get inside humans and make them sick until more cells can be made and given to more humans, and those original cells, and maybe the human, dies.

It is the Extreme Mission of Life to Live. In Covid19 and us. Neither lays down and accepts, both simply do what is required to live. For us, the victims, that means not actually doing much.

For many, not doing much was a fate profoundly to be wished. But only after doing something, anything, till its end. Which is where we are, without end.

In other times, when life was shorter, knowledge was little and intimate, when there was 1 percent that did actually own about everything, there were breaks in that continuum. Ultimately it was humans finding more voice over fear and things changed, but there were episodes. The Black Plague. Wars, Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus is the one that outlived the Plague and the Wars. 2,000 years ago something happened. It did. But what? After that, like COVID19, the spread of what happened was unrelenting because its effect was true, though hard. It turns out that you, and I, are loved. Not because we are taught it, or follow a rule, just because, well, you are loved.

That is the end. We may be living a life of eating cotton, listless waiting, nameless days, even a joyless Easter. But there is Easter, even in our isolation.

As if the Sea should part
And show a further Sea —
And that — a further — and the Three
But a presumption be —

Of Periods of Seas —
Unvisited of Shores —
Themselves the Verge of Seas to be —
Eternity — is Those —


April 7, 2020

Recent Images


Progress in Greenwich


 The outdoor chapel at Incarnation Camp in Ivoryton, CT

Click here to read about the project.



CEPHAS Housing 25 Years Ago in Yonkers NY

Click here to read about the project.



In Mockingbird: “This World Is Not Conclusion” (Song of COVID-19)

In CT Insider: What will we learn from this sequestration?

In CT Insider: Re-arranging what’s around you can head off the shelter-in-place blues

In CT Insider: Meet the man who’s rescuing the iconic, but long-vacated Pirelli Tire Building

In Common Edge: The Unique Pain of Architects: Letting Go

In Mockingbird: “Escape from Circumstances”: Dickinson in Quarantine

In CT Insider: Ugly solar panels are invading our homes, again

In Mockingbird: Departed to the Judgment: A Life Between Two Worlds

In CT Insider: Big or small, today’s kitchen has become most homes’ pre-eminent spot

In Mockingbird: Waiting for the Hammer to Fall in Lent

In Mockingbird: In The Arena: On Best Efforts and Certain Failures



On WTNH News:  Madison Architect Sheds Light on Solar Solution for Homeowners

On Common Ground with Annette Ross:  She asked “Where is Architecture?”, I answered

On HGTV:  Mercedes Home Diaries       Password: mercedes



April 6, 2020

40 of 47

Forever — is composed of Nows —

‘Tis not a different time —

Except for Infiniteness —

And Latitude of Home —


From this — experienced Here —

Remove the Dates — to These —

Let Months dissolve in further Months —

And Years — exhale in Years —


Without Debate — or Pause —

Or Celebrated Days —

No different Our Years would be

From Anno Domini’s

Emily Dickinson



This world wide Moment is actually billions of them.

By now you have encountered any number of unique incidents, pieces of what is seen or heard that are, for now, great within you. When times get weird, the weird is undeniable. We are left to observe, because we are told to stop doing the things that we have done our whole life.


“Forever — is composed of Nows —

‘Tis not a different time —

Except for Infiniteness —

And Latitude of Home —”

The unmemorable, unthinking things now are gone, or if left in our lives, subject to consideration now that our platforms for living have reduced to a tiny stage:

The weather can seem exquisite.

My son works in our living room. “I have spent more time in this room than all the other times, combined, that I have been in the house, over 28 years.”

A woman, halting, awaits her 2 Meter Segregation to collapse at the Cumberland Farms sales counter, and quietly buys a pack of cigarettes as she otherwise avoids death.

We eat, together, at a table, every night, for the first time, well, ever.

Driving to pick up food, going at the maximum speed allowed by police tolerance on an empty highway, three motorcycles fly by, perhaps at 100MPH, helmetless in a time of extreme death defiance.

Our yard is immaculate (relatively)

The dishwasher is used every other day. Our Recyclable Bin us filled to overflowing every week. Our refrigerator is full of prepared food, waiting.


“From this — experienced Here —

Remove the Dates — to These —

Let Months dissolve in further Months —

And Years — exhale in Years —”

But, now, this week is a Moment that has been a Moment every year for 2,000. Stopping unthinking, some have paused every year, simply to remember that something happened that we do not understand (at least I do not) but changed everything for those it changed.

“Without Debate — or Pause —

Or Celebrated Days —

No different Our Years would be

From Anno Domini’s —”

In a Moment like these, our perspective is broken away from daily survival, of incidental pleasure, or failure and success. We see, unclearly, larger wheels, and much tinier realities than life usually offers.

Forever — is composed of Nows

Easter is Sunday.

The Bell Tolls

April 5, 2020

39 of 47

Have you noticed? Everyone’s mind is on death. Avoiding it, its presence, it’s place in life. Death is pretty much everywhere. All the time. 24/7.

Nothing new, dying has been our one universal reality amongst billions of singularities. But the living are left to put it somewhere. Ours is the hardest death to deal with, but the deaths of others change our world and reveal our own expiration date reality.

Emily Dickinson experienced the death of her mother and her beloved correspondent of decades. She was so connected to them that she felt disconnected to her own life when they left her.

My life closed twice before its close—

It yet remains to see

If Immortality unveil

A third event to me


So huge, so hopeless to conceive

As these that twice befell.

Parting is all we know of heaven,

And all we need of hell.

I am guessing that we in our room, like Emily, have plenty of time to think of plenty of deaths. And the ascription of death to COVID19 is, well, convenient to boost all the fear, hype and situation. But my father died of leukemia, but a version that happened a day or few before his death. He was truly killed by his smoking and drinking that made 78 years a miracle of longevity.

Now that the commonality of death is made special by circumstances, some are saying that this time of COVID19 will actually have fewer total deaths than if we were living normal lives. So many lives are not ended other ways when behaviors are changed. But our behaviors are our essential mode of living. The hell of Emily and us is not eternal.

This is now, officially, Holy Week. It is easy to forget that. After thinking about the death of Jesus for 40 days many recreate the week of his death in rituals. 2,000 years goes away, and we see one disgusting death, surrounded by unending thought and emotion. Perhaps not so much this year.

We are wrapped up in a worldwide exposure to mortality, so one death, 100 generations ago, will seem just another to some. But John Donne disagrees:

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; …because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee

But this week I disagree with both John and Emily. While the death of so many happens so often, COVID19 or not, life becomes the miracle in its contemplation. Life amid and after death is beyond miraculous and simply inexplicable.

It is Life, after all.

getting real

April 4, 2020

Sister From Another Mister

Our selves, our souls and bodies

Here’s an essay more than a year in the making.

This version of it could be titled: “Why I stopped wearing makeup during the Coronavirus.”

It’s not what you think.It’s not laziness.It’s not part of the slick new move where you dress only from the waist up for Zoom meetings and keep your pajama bottoms on for the entire day.

No.If anything, ten hours of Zoom meetings a day might lead to a greater emphasis on “putting on one’s face,” since that’s what we’re all looking at, now.

No. It’s not laziness.It’s not “I don’t care anymore.”

It’s age.


Eighteen months ago, I turned 60. (According to COVID-19 standards, I am now “elderly.”)

I didn’t mind turning 30 (I was busy having babies.)

I didn’t mind turning 40 (I was busy raising those babies.)

I didn’t even mind turning the legendary 50 (I was shin-deep in a new career.)

View original post 787 more words

Secreted In A Star

April 4, 2020

38 of 47

We are now consumed with finding fault. Most everyone knows what we should do and do it, but some really (really) want to know who made us do this.

A president? A country? A man eating a bat? Or is it you – who are not wearing a mask? What, you didn’t wash your hands? Don’t you know, it’s all a conspiracy!

We can see 5,000 stars. There are 100,000,000,000 stars in our galaxy. There are, observable, 100,000,000,000 galaxies. The sky is not a projection screen, it is why humans so desperately want one.

We are all we have in the midst of overwhelming ignorance.

That ignorance is in our face when we get a cold. When our child hates us. When any expectation turns out not to be a fact.

We live by our sun. It is beyond a star, it is our star. It controls us, and we live by it. We kinda know what it is, and we sorta know those 5,000 other, smaller things we see, we get the reality of the 100,000,000,000 others that are part of all of this, and even the 100,000,000,000 things that also look like dots we can see, when we can see them.

But, really, we know so little.

But we know us. Each of us has an intimacy that comforts and scares and leaves us trying to find fault to deal with what we do not know. But we know some things. The anger, fear, focus is with us every day. Love is with us too – it is just unreasonable.

Unlike stars and galaxies that we see, love is what we cannot see, but live our lives to be. Fear protects us. Anger projects us. Focus gets us what we want (or tries to).

But love gets us nothing. Except love.

The reasons for this devotion beyond basking in the sun and the next meal are secreted from us beyond their undeniable reality. No one I know has died and returned. I see no ghosts, hear no voices, have no realities beyond the extreme truths of this moment, here, now, and the stars that I can see.

But the 100,000,000,000 things set in each of another 100,000,000,000 things are not known by me, but I know they are there. I know 2,000 years ago something happened. Hard and fast, a guy got killed by the same crap I have in me and know in everyone else.

But that did not end him.

I am not wearing a mask, or washed my hands, either, but I know him, like I know the 100,000,000,000 things each set into another 100,000,000,000 things. I can see 5.000, but that’s about it.

It may be enough.

But it is never enough to understand why what part of the bat the man ate is wrecking our set pieces today (if he did eat it). It happened in just one in one country that has made all the other countries deal with it. And made each and every one of us deal with it.

That is Lent for me, too. Every year. Some things are known, but infinitely more can’t be. I am not good with it, but that does not matter. Love abides.

We know some, but never enough. Emily Dickinson knew far, far less than I do, but so much more:

‘Who abdicated Ambush

And went the way of Dusk,

And now against his subtle Name

There stands an Asterisk

As confident of him as we —

Impregnable we are —

The whole of Immortality

Secreted in a Star”