Wednesday, May 5, 2010


The system is growing; it is claiming territory in my living space, creeping like moss; it is also consuming whole domains of my mind. I swing between moments of despair, when I envision disaster, and a glowing joy, when I accept that I've arrived exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing.

John Steinbeck, writing about writing East of Eden, told his editor that he could not allow himself that there was anything beyond that book; he was writing it as though it were his last book; and he believed that every book should be written that way. That sounds right because it is how I feel about the stratosphere project; I am not preparing to lose my life, but I am preparing as though this will be the last expedition. Everything I am, to paraphrase Steinbeck, goes into this. There can be no dilutions, no compromises.

Above, the system now growing East away from the building table.

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