Freewill Astrology: Aquarius Horoscope, week of June 13th

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Inventor, architect, and author Buckminster
Fuller lived to the age of 87. For 63 of those years, he kept a detailed
scrapbook diary that documented every day of his life. It included his
reflections, correspondence, drawings, newspaper clippings, grocery bills,
and much other evidence of his unique story. I would love to see you
express yourself with that much disciplined ferocity during the next two
weeks. According to my astrological analysis, you’re in a phase when you
have maximum power to create your life with vigorous ingenuity and to
show everyone exactly who you are.

The Secret City – In Focus – The Atlantic

The Secret City – In Focus – The Atlantic.

Excellent photo essay about Oak Ridge Tennessee, the “secret city” where radioactive material was refined for use in the first atomic bombs in the early 1940s.  This was all taking place just across the Blue Ridge from Black Mtn. College, and not far from Myles Horton’s Highlander School.  I wonder if or when students at these schools ever became aware of what work was being done in their backyards…

Update from Kure, Japan

Today has been a slightly unusually productive day.  I got a good draft done of my Bucky Fuller abstract which I’ll submit at the end of the month to the ReViewing Black Mountain College Conference.  Additionally I got some good reading done in the Fuller essays.  He definitely flirts with Positivism, and eschews Pragmatism (at least Peirce’s Pragmatism) to a great degree.  I wonder if it’s possible that Fuller’s appearance on the scene at BMC in 1948 and ’49 signalled a much more radical philosophical break for the school– I mean, much more so than I anticipated.  I’m looking forward to taking a closer look at the Josef Albers Papers when I’m back in Asheville this Summer so I can get a sense of where he stood relative to Rice/Drier and the other founding minds, who I have up until now assumed to have been more or less subscribers to Dewey’s Pragmatism.  Another interesting note– in some background reading on the web today I came across some online materials from the Ramsey Library at UNC-A (which houses some BMC materials in their Special Collections Library) which listed Dewey as a member of BMC’s Advisory Council.  So, that’s an encouraging tidbit.  I knew there was a Dewey connection to BMC, but I wasn’t aware that it would be so clear or official as that.  I was expecting something much more casual– an acquaintance with Rice, say.  Hopefully there will be some letters to elucidate Dewey’s role as an Advisor there…  Then again I suppose it is possible that his role on the Council was much more symbolic.  After all he was nearing the end of his life and had retired from Columbia by the late ’40s anyway.

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A note on yesterday’s post, Hot Bones.  That’s a true account of an episode from my stay with Yuco and her family a couple of weeks ago.  Yuco’s Grandmother passed away suddenly at age 77, and I had the privilege of attending the various funeral ceremonies held by the family and community in her honor.  The cremation was, admittedly slightly horrifying, however.  The legendary Chinese General Sun Tzu’s words come to mind:  “That which does not kill me can only make me stronger!”  In any case, I hope that the tone of that story is reverent enough.  A few of my asides (like the bit about Indiana Jones) are perhaps in questionable taste, though I think they convey my physical psychological and emotional states in the Bone Collection Room with fidelity.

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My apologies for not posting more photos more consistently.  I’ve had pretty spotty Internet access from Yuco’s house, so uploading images has been a bit of a pain.  If I make it out to my friend, Myia’s apartment tomorrow I’ll be able to do some of that uploading there, where I can use her LAN cable connection and much more reliable modem.

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In part due to Yuco’s Grandmother’s Funeral causing us to have to postpone our trip to Miyajima for the initial wedding planning meeting, I’ve decided to nix my plans to volunteer with WWOOF in Northern Japan.  I think that will be for the best.  I had some anxiety about outwearing my welcome at Yuco’s parents’ house.  I will certainly want to ramp up my involvement in housework and so forth– doing all of the breakfast and lunch dishes, cooking a meal or two a for the family a week, and dusting and vacuuming the upstairs floor of the house where my room and Yuco’s room are.  I have never felt unwelcome here.  And so, after talking it over with Yuco and her parents, I settled on sticking around Kure for the duration of my time in Japan this Summer.

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One event I wish I had brought my camera to this past Monday evening was when Yuco’s Uncle Deki and his wife treated Yuco and I and all of her siblings and their wives to dinner at a fairly fancy sushi restaurant in Hiroshima City.  Great God!  That was a treat!  It was a semi-formal family occasion, held in part in mine and Yuco’s honor, and so it fell to me to make some opening remarks.  I toasted to my new Family and my Second Home (in Japanese of course).  And everyone drank and made merry and ate until we were stuffed.  Yuco ended up having to lay her head down on the counter towards the end of the night, partially from the alcohol, but mostly from having spent all day on Miyajima running around with our host from the hotel where we’re going to have the fancy wedding feast.  And yes, I do mean “fancy feast!”