One of the characters in my new show is a woman in her 60s named Estrella who, after a professional lifetime, has returned to her home in the Taos Pueblo to realize the vision which has been haunting her: to build a mechanical clock which will run for 10,000 years.
In this section, she's talking about her life:
Seems like the bottom line is always money. To exist outside the money world is to live a marginal existence at best. Strong, perhaps. Connected to nature, perhaps. But there is a world of people out there, cultures and toys and power, and it’s deeply seductive.
And if you’re a child of both worlds, the pull is so strong – each direction. You don’t belong completely in either world, and you’re looked down on for having a choice. Why? Because victim mentality can become victim culture. It’s sad, but it’s true. And how do we elevate ourselves when we’re victims? By relishing – romancing, almost – our outsider status.
But what if you have the chance to not be an outsider? What if you have a chance to belong? Even if you find it repugnant, maybe you also find it exciting.
So, yes, I went with my father. It’s almost literary – that choice. Father is head, is power, is technology. Father is action, father is intellect.
I was always good at it. Science, engineering, math. Solid yes or no fields. The duality is clear. Either it works, or it doesn’t. If it works, make it work better. If it doesn’t work, toss it away.
If it doesn’t work, toss it away.
So I went with my father. The world of the mind is a powerful thing. You can distance yourself from anything you feel so easily.
I started building, designing – dams, mines, freeways. The thighbones of industrial worlds.
Exciting. Concrete – if you’ll pardon the pun.
Then with a big picture mind moving into consulting, helping others realize their giant projects. The bigger the industry, the more they pay. Chemicals and weapons.
Rewarding in an upward-arcing way. Feels good to fly around the world with a roll of plans and an expense account.
But then, there were the dreams. I don’t think they started – I think they were always there. But I didn’t remember them for years. Just woke up with shards of them embedded in me, like being stung by a bee in your sleep.
Then there would be moments of recognition – a phrase echoing in my head, a vision of an object.
Finally, I knew. It was a clock. Always a clock.