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March 24, 2017

New Stuff:

In Silence In Spring : Perfect

In Left To Myself : When Failure Gets The A

In Random Stuff: Rite 1 – Law & Order

In Not (As) Fat: Hungry & Fat

In Finding Home: 30 Years in a Room

In The Rules: Between Rocks & Hard $$$

In Home Page: At Home With Past Lives


March 26, 2017

25 of 40

Every new parent knows the terror: “It’s not Normal!”

Having been hairy eyeballed with a deeply paternal focus for 4 days, 24/7 – at first every hour, then every 2 then every 4, I can say my body temp, blood pressure, heart condition, brain function, every blessed thing except balance is “Normal”.

Given that was a hefty abnormality enuf, my guess is the 4 days attached by no fewer than 9 wires, cords and tubes made sense. Those connections between the organic and inorganic were pretty stark and their info dead clear: on average “Normal”.

Of course my body temp ranged from 97.4F to 99.6F everyday. My pressure went from lunacy at over 200 to “manageable” at under 150. I was, or soon became “Normal”. My guess is a fetal ball in a cave would have survived: but I could not know that I was “Normal” – fear would be a silent companion.

I now know I need to encourage repair: I am back on the Exercycle, typing away in silence: monitored, but doing it. I know now, like every parent whose baby beats a 104F temp that I am “Normal”.

I may be abnormally “stoic” as the Yale goddess noted with not a little disdain, but I listen – I do know – what is “Normal” and what is not, I am old enough to know change is necessary.

It is easier not to change. It is easier to stay in the cave, in a fetal position. Maybe that works out OK, but the basis is battling the unknown.

It seems better to confront and win and crouch and survive,

So Little

March 25, 2017

24 of 40

“Could we, perhaps, in 3 months, take a sample of your blood?”

Of course.

But why?

Having been observed by scores of filmings, pokes, tubes, wires, beeps and “draws” at one of the world’s best collections of these things, as well as over a dozen sets of eyes at every hour of the 24, it appears I am “normal”.

This was unexpected.

Enough change had been randomly imposed on the lower back of my brain that far more incapacity was expected – by every eye. All the poking showed there was no “reason” or typical outcome. For a 61 year old, I am relatively flawless. But my improving balance was all that needed attention. Quite enough, thank you – but less “enough” for them to ask my blood to be part of a study of the inexplibably undamaged.


They do not know. The extraordinarily well informed and clearly presenting Doctor was obvious to the central theme: get everything in a place and condition where it “naturally” fixes itself. She understood they only can do enough prep to allow the completely not understood can happen.

That is plenty, given the unending observation and adaptation. I was a completely honest, tho adamant client: I really wanted out. 2,000 years ago I was in a fetal position, recovering in a cave – and that therapy was still accessible to me.

But it was now: they had to know.

What do they know? A lot and growing fast: but only on that small surface of getting me into the cave, where things they only know the measured outcome of, happen. Outcomes and standards are measured better and more closely that ever. We really do begin to grok little atomic bits and the tiny forces that shape and define them – more and more, every minute. And we can extrapolatate that to more interesting and probable outcomes on a cosmic scale more completely than ever.

They know exactly how and why a specific pen falls to the floor: but no one knows the bigger “Why”, or even much about the biggest “How” of gravity: “What” happened, and will happen, is truly understood – but the “How” cannot not be accessed, and the “Why” remains completely untouched.

Scientists operate surfing on the surface of a bottomless sea. They surf better, know more, do more than ever: but the more they know the more they realize they don’t.

The legitimacy of the cave has been revealed, to both of us. I will relearn balance, they will take my blood in three months.


March 24, 2017

23 of 40

“The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good.”

Is there a bigger understatement?

It’s my guess that the majority of all action, reaction and personal risk boils down to missing the mark. It’s defined for us: “winning”, “good-better-best” or simply “I don’t care.” We latch onto a verdict and are called to confront and overturn it, or are defeated by it.

I am too fat – per a dress size, a BMI number or the reflection in Wal-Mart’s plate glass mirror – and I react.

I did not win the award, I readjust my sights, modify design/application and reapply.

I get dizzy, unstably dizzy, and I go to the hospital.

All the while so many other things are perfect, or functionally so. I am healthy (“Perfectly” so, according experts, armed with pictures, stats and Greco-Roman nomenclature). I am loved, I am doing what I have to do.

But I, and you, are imperfect.

There is no logic to perfection, because the instant the mark that confers it is obtained, there is always a much higher mark, further on. Yet I, and you, want it – perhaps not enough to lose the 10 extra pounds or effort 10 more awards – but we want it enuf that it kinda wrecks the here and now.

The idea of Zen, of balance, of perfectly inner and outer truth or beauty or balance is simply not possible for me. A tiny number of us can dance in seemingly perfect steps or think in ways or move an object with seemingly effortless ease: not so me.

My life, perhaps yours, is submerged in “getting there”. I am pretty much never arrived, finished, or satisfied. I can be exhausted, the physical realities stop progress for a while, even the rest of necessity ends the ability to focus on the things you want to do – nonetheless, it’s about not being done.

Imperfection is not a disease or even shameful. It’s normal, chronic and everlasting for some of us. I guess it’s not healthy, I guess it’s not Zen: so be it.

Old age is learning when close enuf is good enuf, for now – because the lack of satisfaction is not imperfection, it’s just not good enough.


March 23, 2017

22 of 40

There is quick distinction in caring for someone, or the alternate of being ares for.

Babies are the classic love sponges – you are grateful if they breath, eat, and poop. At a certain point the arc to maturity commences and control is simply grown into by the infant – often to the chagrin of the grownup.

Some relationships feed on mutuality: my wife and I are pretty much independant cooperators – when times require we care or do for each other we jump in, but largely the roles we have chosen are indepegsnt ones.

I know couples where one dominates, I know other families where either kids or parents set the tone.

The point is that there is flow: or there is unhappiness: you can either avoid control or need it 24/7: life sets up opportunities to excel, or a changes in circumstance that preclude confortable routine role modeling.

Right now I am largely horizontal and a zillion humans are all around me: normal, not embarrassing, and needed: next month it may be a child or an employee, or someone I work for needs attention. It seems knowing the necessitity of when care is needed and when to give care is the key to making the evolutions work, versus grind us into angry resentment.

This is not easy as the road is long, with unanticipated shifts – but it happens regardless of desire or pattern.


March 22, 2017

21 of 40

Happiness is not just being happy.

Sometimes it’s just breathing after a blow, or being able to see after a dark night. Or walking after a few tiny blood vessels break in the back of your head.

So the day “off” the 40 days of Lent is spent in a hospital room with tubes everywhere. Everything but standing and walking works perfectly – and each standing and walking seems more stable, more focused. There were only a few vessels snapped.

So happiness could be getting the 27th thing done in a day, or getting a job, watching a kid hit a note or a defensive end. But happiness can be doing the thing you have done year after year – without thought or care.

Happiness is not dependent on newness. It’s not physical joy. Obviously new things that make you feel good are great, and joyous, but for me happiness is just getting the act you knew was in you, done.

For a day or two that will be walking in the metaphor cone real of walking the straight line. That’s enough.


March 21, 2017

Honored to be a Fellow in the AIA

(I came late to the party, so this is pretty swift)


Before & After


Before & After

Leonard Saari B&A Exterior

Before & After

Leonard-Saari B&A Int.1



Getting Done in San Francisco


 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.



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Archive: Real Life Survival Guide



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