And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?

- from "Late Fragment," Raymond Carver

"There are unheralded tipping points, a certain number of times that we will unlock the front door of an apartment. At some point you were closer to the last time than you were to the first time, and you didn't even know it. You didn't know that each time you passed the threshold you were saying goodbye."

- from The Colossus of New York, Colson Whitehead

It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends. I can remember now, with a clarity that makes the nerves in the back of my neck constrict, when New York began for me, but I cannot lay my  finger upon the moment it ended, can never cut through the ambiguities and second starts and broken resolves to the exact place on the page where the heroine is no longer as optimistic as she once was. When I first saw New York I was twenty, and it was summertime, and I got off a DC-7 at the old Idlewild temporary terminal in a new dress which had seemed very smart in Sacramento but seemed less smart already, even in the old Idlewild temporary terminal, and the warm air smelled of mildew and some instinct, programmed by all the movies I had ever seen and all the songs I had ever read about New York, informed me that it would never be quite the same again. In fact it never was. Some time later there was a song in the jukeboxes on the Upper East Side that went “but where is the schoolgirl who used to be me,” and if it was late enough at night I used to wonder that. I know now that almost everyone wonders something like that, sooner or later and no matter what he or she is doing, but one of the mixed blessings of being twenty and twenty-one and even twenty-three is the conviction that nothing like this, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, has ever happened to anyone before.

Of course it might have been some other city, had circumstances been different and the time been different and had I been different, might have been Paris or Chicago or even San Francisco, but because I am talking about myself I am talking here about New York. That first night I opened my window on the bus into town and watched for the skyline, but all I could see were the wastes of Queens and big signs that said MIDTOWN TUNNEL THIS LANE and then a flood of summer rain (even that seemed remarkable and exotic, for I had come out of the West where there was no summer rain), and for the next three days I sat wrapped in blankets in a hotel room air conditioned to 35 degrees and tried to get over a cold and a high fever. It did not occur to me to call a doctor, because I knew none, and although it did occur to me to call the desk and ask that the air conditioner be turned off, I never called, because I did not know how much to tip whoever might come—was anyone ever so young? I am here to tell you that someone was. All I could do during those years was talk long-distance to the boy I already knew I would never marry in the spring. I would stay in New York, I told him, just six months, and I could see the Brooklyn Bridge from my window. As it turned out the bridge was the Triborough, and I stayed eight years.

In retrospect it seems to me that those days before I knew the names of all the bridges were happier than the ones that came later, but perhaps you will see that as we go along. Part of what I want to tell you is what it is like to be young in New York, how six months can become eight years with the deceptive ease of a film dissolve, for that is how those years appear to me now, in a long sequence of sentimental dissolves and old-fashioned trick shots—the Seagram Building fountains dissolve into snowflakes, I enter a revolving door at twenty and come out a good deal older, and on a different street. But most particularly I want to explain to you, and in the process perhaps to myself, why I no longer live in New York. It is often said that New York is a city for only the very rich and the very poor. It is less often said that New York is also, at least for those of us who came there from somewhere else, a city only for the very young.

I remember once, one cold bright December evening in New York, suggesting a friend who complained of having been around too long that he come with me to a party where there would be, I assured him with the bright resourcefulness of twenty-three, “new faces.” He laughed literally until he choked, and I had to roll down the taxi window and hit him on the back. “New faces,” he said finally, “don’t tell me about new faces.” It seemed that the last time he had gone to a party where he had been promised “new faces,” there had been fifteen people in the room, and he had already slept with five of the women and owed money to all but two of the men. I laughed with him, but the first snow had just begun to fall and the big Christmas trees glittered yellow and white as far as I could see up Park Avenue and I had a new dress and it would be a long while before I would come to understand the particular moral of the story.

It would be a long while because, quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean “love” in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again. I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later—because I did not belong there, did not come from there—but when you are twenty-two or twenty-three, you figure that later you will have a high emotional balance, and be able to pay whatever it costs. I still believed in possibilities then, still had the sense, so peculiar to New York, that something extraordinary would happen any minute, any day, any month. I was making only $65 or $70 then a week then (“Put yourself in Hattie Carnegie’s hands,” I was advised without the slightest trace of irony by an editor of the magazine for which I worked), so little money that some weeks I had to charge food at Bloomingdale’s gourmet shop in order to eat, a fact which went unmentioned in the letters I wrote to California. I never told my father that I needed money because then he would have sent it, and I would never know if I could do it by myself. At that time making a living seemed a game to me, with arbitrary but quite inflexible rules. And except on a certain kind of winter evening—six-thirty in the Seventies, say, already dark and bitter with a wind off the river, when I would be walking very fast toward a bus and would look in the bright windows of brownstones and see cooks working in clean kitchens and and imagine women lighting candles on the floor above and beautiful children being bathed on the floor above that—except on nights like those, I never felt poor; I had the feeling that if I needed money I could always get it. I could write a syndicated column for teenagers under the name “Debbi Lynn” or I could smuggle gold into India or I could become a $100 call girl, and none of it would matter.

Nothing was irrevocable; everything was within reach. Just around every corner lay something curious and interesting, something I had never before seen or done or known about. I could go to a party and meet someone who called himself Mr. Emotional Appeal and ran The Emotional Appeal Institute or Tina Onassis Blandford or a Florida cracker who was then a regular on what the called “the Big C,” the Southampton-El Morocco circuit (“I’m well connected on the Big C, honey,” he would tell me over collard greens on his vast borrowed terrace), or the widow of the celery king of the Harlem market or a piano salesman from Bonne Terre, Missouri, or someone who had already made and list two fortunes in Midland, Texas. I could make promises to myself and to other people and there would be all the time in the world to keep them. I could stay up all night and make mistakes, and none of them would count.

You see I was in a curious position in New York: it never occurred to me that I was living a real life there. In my imagination I was always there for just another few months, just until Christmas or Easter or the first warm day in May. For that reason I was most comfortable with the company of Southerners. They seemed to be in New York as I was, on some indefinitely extended leave from wherever they belonged, disciplined to consider the future, temporary exiles who always knew when the flights left for New Orleans or Memphis or Richmond or, in my case, California. Someone who lives with a plane schedule in the drawer lives on a slightly different calendar. Christmas, for example, was a difficult season. Other people could take it in stride, going to Stowe or going abroad or going for the day to their mothers’ places in Connecticut; those of us who believed that we lived somewhere else would spend it making and canceling airline reservations, waiting for weatherbound flights as if for the last plane out of Lisbon in 1940, and finally comforting one another, those of us who were left, with oranges and mementos and smoked-oyster stuffings of childhood, gathering close, colonials in a far country.

Which is precisely what we were. I am not sure that it is possible for anyone brought up in the East to appreciate entirely what New York, the idea of New York, means to those of us who came out of the West and the South. To an Eastern child, particularly a child who has always has an uncle on Wall Street and who has spent several hundred Saturdays first at F.A.O. Schwarz and being fitted for shoes at Best’s and then waiting under the Biltmore clock and dancing to Lester Lanin, New York is just a city, albeit the city, a plausible place for people to live, But to those of us who came from places where no one had heard of Lester Lanin and Grand Central Station was a Saturday radio program, where Wall Street and Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue were not places at all but abstractions (“Money,” and “High Fashion,” and “The Hucksters”), New York was no mere city. It was instead an infinitely romantic notion, the mysterious nexus of all love and money and power, the shining and perishable dream itself. To think of “living” there was to reduce the miraculous to the mundane; one does not “live” at Xanadu.

In fact it was difficult in the extreme for me to understand those young women for whom New York was not simply an ephemeral Estoril but a real place, girls who bought toasters and installed new cabinets in their apartments and committed themselves to some reasonable furniture. I never bought any furniture in New York. For a year or so I lived in other people’s apartments; after that I lived in the Nineties in an apartment furnished entirely with things taken from storage by a friend whose wife had moved away. And when I left the apartment in the Nineties (that was when I was leaving everything, when it was all breaking up) I left everything in it, even my winter clothes and the map of Sacramento County I had hung on the bedroom wall to remind me who I was, and I moved into a monastic four-room floor-through on Seventy-fifth Street. “Monastic” is perhaps misleading here, implying some chic severity; until after I was married and my husband moved some furniture in, there was nothing at all in those four rooms except a cheap double mattress and box springs, ordered by telephone the day I decided to move, and two French garden chairs lent me by a friend who imported them. (It strikes me now that the people I knew in New York all had curious and self-defeating sidelines. They imported garden chairs which did not sell very well at Hammacher Schlemmer or they tried to market hair staighteners in Harlem or they ghosted exposés of Murder Incorporated for Sunday supplements. I think that perhaps none of us was very serious, engagé only about our most private lives.)

All I ever did to that apartment was hang fifty yards of yellow theatrical silk across the bedroom windows, because I had some idea that the gold light would make me feel better, but I did not bother to weight the curtains correctly and all that summer the long panels of transparent golden silk would blow out  the windows and get tangled and drenched in afternoon thunderstorms. That was the year, my twenty-eight, when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and ever procrastination, every word, all of it.

That is what it was all about, wasn’t it? Promises? Now when New York comes back to me it comes in hallucinatory flashes, so clinically detailed that I sometimes wish that memory would effect the distortion with which it is commonly credited. For a lot of the time I was in New York I used a perfume called Fleurs de Rocaille, and then L’Air du Temps, and now the slightest trace of either can short-circuit my connections for the rest of the day. Nor can I smell Henri Bendel jasmine soap without falling back into the past, or the particular mixture of spices used for boiling crabs. There were barrels of crab boil in a Czech place in the Eighties where I once shopped. Smells, of course, are notorious memory stimuli, but there are other things which affect me the same way. Blue-and-white striped sheets. Vermouth cassis. Some faded nightgowns which were new in 1959 or 1960, and some chiffon scarves I bought about the same time.

I suppose that a lot of us who have been very young in New York have the same scenes in our home screens. I remember sitting in a lot of apartments with a slight headache about five o’clock in the morning. I had a friend who could not sleep, and he knew a few other people who had the same trouble, and we would watch the sky lighten and have a last drink with no ice and then go home in the early morning, when the streets were clean and wet (had it rained in the night? we never knew) and the few cruising taxis still had their headlights on and the only color was the red and green of traffic signals. The White Rose bars opened very early in the morning; I recall waiting in one of them to watch an astronaut go into space, waiting so long that at the moment it actually happened I had my eyes not on the television screen but on a cockroach on the tile floor. I liked the bleak branches above Washington Square at dawn, and the monochromatic flatness of Second Avenue, the fire escapes and the grilled storefronts peculiar and empty in their perspective.

It is relatively hard to fight at six-thirty or seven in the morning, without any sleep, which was perhaps one reason why we stayed up all night, and it seemed to me a pleasant time of day. The windows were shuttered in that apartment in the Nineties and I could sleep for a few hours and then go to work. I could work the on two or three hours’ sleep and a container of coffee from Chock Full O’ Nuts. I liked going to work, liked the soothing and satisfactory rhythm of getting out a magazine, liked the orderly progression of four-color closings and two-color closings and black-and-white closings and then The Product, no abstraction but something which looked effortlessly glossy and could be picked up on a newsstand and weighed in the hand. I liked all the minutiae of proofs and layouts, liked working late on the nights the magazines went to press, sitting and reading Variety and waiting for the copy desk to call. From my office, I could look across town to the weather signal on the Mutual of New York Building and the lights that alternately spelled TIME and LIFE above Rockeffeler Plaza; that pleased me obscurely, and so did walking uptown in the mauve eight o’clocks of early summer evenings and looking at things, Lowestoft tureens in Fifty-seventh Street windows, people in evening clothes trying to get taxis, the trees just coming into full leaf, the lambent air, all the sweet promises of money and summer.

Some years passed, but I still did not lose that sense of wonder about New York. I began to cherish the loneliness of it, the sense that at any given time no one need know where I was or what I was doing. I liked walking, from the East River over to the Hudson and back on brisk days, down around the Village on warm days. A friend would leave me the key to her apartment in the West Village when she was out of town, and sometimes I would just move down there, because by that time the telephone was beginning to bother me (the canker, you see, was already in the rose) and not many people had that number. I remember one day when someone who did have the West Village number came to pick me up for lunch there, and we both had hangovers, and I cut my finger opening him a beer and burst into tears, and we walked to a Spanish restaurant and drank bloody Marys and gazpacho until we felt better. I was not then guilt-ridden about spending afternoons that way, because I still had all the afternoons in the world.

And even that late in the game I still liked going to parties, all parties, bad parties, Saturday-afternoon parties given by recently married couples who lived in Stuyvesant Town, West Side parties given by unpublished or failed writers who served cheap red wine and talked about going to Guatalajara, Village parties where all the guests worked for advertising agencies and voted for Reform Democrats, press parties at Sardi’s, the worst kind of parties. You will have perceived by now that I was not one to profit by the experience of others, that it was a very long time indeed before I stopped believing in new faces and began to understand the lesson in that story, which was that it is distinctly possible to stay too long at the Fair.

I could not tell you when I began to understand that. All I know is that it was very bad when I was twenty-eight. Everything that was said to me I seemed to have heard before, and I could no longer listen. I could no longer sit in little bars near Grand Central and listen to someone complaining of his wife’s inability to cope with the help while he missed another train to Connecticut. I no longer had any interest in hearing about the advances other people had received from their publishers, about plays which were having second-act trouble in Philadelphia, or about people I would like very much if only I would come out and meet them. I had already met them, always. There were certain parts of the city which I had to avoid. I could not bear upper Madison Avenue on weekday mornings (this was a particularly inconvenient aversion, since I then lived just fifty or sixty feet east of Madison), because I would see women walking Yorkshire terriers and shopping at Gristede’s, and some Veblenesque gorge would rise in my throat. I could not go to Times Square in the afternoon, or to the New York Public Library for any reason whatsoever. One day I could not go into a Schrafft’s; the next it would be the Bonwit Teller.

I hurt the people I cared about, and insulted those I did not. I cut myself off from the one person who was closer to me than any other. I cried until I was not even aware when I was crying and when I was not, I cried in elevators and in taxis and in Chinese laundries, and when I went to the doctor, he said only that I seemed to be depressed, and that I should see a “specialist.” He wrote down a psychiatrist’s name and address for me, but I did not go.

Instead I got married, which as it turned out was a very good thing to do but badly timed, since I still could not walk on upper Madison Avenue in the mornings and still could not talk to people and still cried in Chinese laundries. I had never before understood what “despair” meant, and I am not sure that I understand now, but I understood that year. Of course I could not work. I could not even get dinner with any degree of certainty, and I would sit in the apartment on Seventy-fifth Street paralyzed until my husband would call from his office and say gently that I did not have to get dinner, that I could meet him at Michael’s Pub or at Toots Shor’s or at Sardi’s East. And then one morning in April (we had been married in January) he called and told me that he wanted to get out of New York for a while, that he would take a six-month leave of absence, that we would go somewhere.

It was three years ago he told me that, and we have lived in Los Angeles since. Many of the people we knew in New York think this a curious aberration, and in fact tell us so. There is no possible, no adequate answer to that, and so we give certain stock answers, the answers everyone gives. I talk about how difficult it would be for us to “afford” to live in New York right now, about how much “space” we need, All I mean is that I was very young in New York, and that at some point the golden rhythm was broken, and I am not that young anymore. The last time I was in New York was in a cold January, and everyone was ill and tired. Many of the people I used to know there had moved to Dallas or had gone on Antabuse or had bought a farm in New Hampshire. We stayed ten days, and then we took an afternoon flight back to Los Angeles, and on the way home from the airport that night I could see the moon on the Pacific and smell jasmine all around and we both knew that there was no longer any point in keeping the apartment we still kept in New York. There were years when I called Los Angeles “the Coast,” but they seem a long time ago.




Watch Me Be This Other Thing: Wireless for All




"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back."

- Alice Walker, The Color Purple  

"Ajna Chaka, the sixth Chakra, is known as the third eye. It is located at the forehead, and represents the visual, intuitive, psychic center of perception. It is here where our memories are stored, imagination develops, and where we perceive dreams.

The definition of Ajna is 'to perceive.' It can also mean "to command." Our memories and perceptions influence and shape the events that take place in our lives just as words shape the world. We command our visions to come into reality without realizing.

[...] all of the chakra points are associated with a specific color. The color associations have changed since the ancient Tantrics' time, however. Now, the colors are based on the rainbow spectrum, beginning with red light, which is associated with the base chakra, and ending with violet, which is associated with the crown chakra. The order follows the rainbow pattern from the base to the crown: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet." [1]

"The element that represents Ajna Chakra is light. As you know, light is the most versatile element known to man, and has a higher and faster vibration than sound. Light travels at an unfathomable speed and distance. It continues across the universe for thousands of years, allowing us to see stars as they were long ago. When we look around us and see objects, it is in fact the reflection of light that helps us to see. Without light, we could see nothing at all." [1]

"The Ajna chakra is related to a rudimentary organ that is sensitive to light, called the pineal gland. The pineal gland, in the embryo, begins to develop in the precise center of the head as a third eye. Though this gland atrophies, it has been found that this area of the head remains sensitive to light. Some believe that the pineal gland in full-grown adults plays a role in mental visions that sometimes occur when individuals are in a deep state of meditation. The sixth chakra, our intuitive level, allows us to gather information from internal visions and images.

Ajna chakra, when it is fully open and functioning, can enhance our awareness of the images within our minds so that we can consciously use this mental energy to provide us with an alternative means for gathering information. Interpreting dreams is the simplest example, however the most developed example of the potential of a functioning Ajna chakra is clairvoyant sight, or psychic ability. Individuals who are open are aware of their perceptions and are able to interpret them in a practical way. Nightmares, headaches, and vision trouble are sometimes the result of a closed third eye. Hallucinations and confusion result from over-interpreting regular events and having this chakra open too widely without reasonable foundations." [1]

"All people have and use their third eye, intuition or psychic ability, to a certain extent without knowing it. Though our daily intuitive perceptions may be subtle, they are quite valid and should be treated as such.

Using our ability to recognize patterns and to create an internal visual language that we can use to interpret those patterns can help us to open our psychic perception. For example, if you have seen someone do something in the past, it is likely that they will do it again. Our perception of the divine order is enhanced as we move upward through the chakra levels. This allows us complete the missing pieces in our perceptions, which may actually exist in a different space and time.

Visual media, television and movies, advertisements and other things can clutter our chakra. In order to clear the vision of our third eye, we must separate ourselves from all of these images that are fed to us, and see the world without preconceived vision, as a child experiences things for the first time. Once we accomplish this, were can experience an amazing psychic vision that clearly sees beyond the physical realm." [1]








“The idea of suicide, understandable as it is, does not seem commendable to me. We live in order to gain the greatest possible amount of spiritual development and self-awareness. As long as life is possible, even if only in a minimal degree, you should hang onto it, in order to scoop it up for the purpose of conscious development. To interrupt life before its time is to bring to a standstill an experiment which we have not set up. We have found ourselves in the midst of it and must carry it through to the end.” 

- C.G. Jung, correspondence, July 10, 1947





"What if I should discover that the poorest of the beggars and the most impudent of offenders are all within me; and that I stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I, myself, am the enemy who must be loved—what then?"

- C.G. Jung

SCHEME IIA, Front Elevation, east, pencil on vellum, July 19, 1959

“The house that Robert Venturi designed for his mother in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, and had built in 1964, is arguable the most architecturally influential building of the second half of the twenieth century.” [1] 

“The five room house stands only about 30 feet (9 m) tall at the top of the chimney, but has a monumental front facade, an effect achieved by intentionally manipulating the architectural elements that indicate a building's scale. A non-structural applique arch and "hole in the wall" windows, among other elements, together with Venturi's book Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture were an open challenge to Modernist orthodoxy. Architectural historian Vincent Scully called it ‘the biggest small building of the second half of the twentieth century.’” [2]

SCHEME IIC, Front Elevation, east, pencil on vellum


Diminution of Personality

"An example of the alteration of personality in the sense of diminution is furnished by what is known in primitive psychology as 'loss of soul.' The peculiar condition covered by this term is accounted for in the mind of the primitive by the sup- position that a soul has gone off, just like a dog that runs away from his master overnight. It is then the task of the medicine- man to fetch the fugitive back. Often the loss occurs suddenly and manifests itself in a general malaise. The phenomenon is closely connected with the nature of primitive consciousness, which lacks the firm coherence of our own. We have control of our will power, but the primitive has not. Complicated exercises are needed if he is to pull himself together for any activity that is conscious and intentional and not just emotional and instinctive. Our consciousness is safer and more dependable in this respect; but occasionally something similar can happen to civilized man, only he does not describe it as 'loss of soul' but as an 'abaissement du niveau mental,' Janet’s apt term for this phenomenon. It is a slackening of the tensity of consciousness, which might be compared to a low barometric reading, presaging bad weather. The tonus has given way, and this is felt subjectively as listless- ness, moroseness, and depression. One no longer has any wish or courage to face the tasks of the day. One feels like lead, because no part of one’s body seems willing to move, and this is due to the fact that one no longer has any disposable energy." [3]

SCHEME IIIA, Front Elevation, east, pencil on vellum

"This well-known phenomenon corresponds to the primitive’s loss of soul. The listlessness and paralysis of will can go so far that the whole personality falls apart, so to speak, and consciousness loses its unity; the individual parts of the personality make themselves independent and thus escape from the control of the conscious mind, as in the case of anaesthetic areas or systematic amnesias. The latter are well known as hysterical 'loss of function' phenomena. This medical term is analogous to the primitive loss of soul.

Abaissement du niveau mental can be the result of physical and mental fatigue, bodily illness, violent emotions, and shock, of which the last has a particularly deleterious effect on one’s self- assurance. The abaissement always has a restrictive influence on the personality as a whole. It reduces one’s self-confidence and the spirit of enterprise, and, as a result of increasing ego-centricity, narrows the mental horizon. In the end it may lead to the development of an essentially negative personality, which means that a falsification of the original personality has supervened." [3]

SCHEME IIIA, Front Elevation, north, pencil on vellum

SCHEME IIIB, Front Elevation, east, pencil on vellum

"When I had the vision of the flood in October of the year 1913, it happened at a time that was significant for me as a man. At that time, in the fortieth year of my life, I had achieved everything that I had wished for myself I had achieved honor, power, wealth, knowledge, and every human happiness. Then my desire for the increase of these trappings ceased, the desire ebbed from me and horror came over me. The vision of the flood seized me and I felt the spirit of the depths, but I did not understand him. Yet he drove me on with unbearable inner longing and I said:

‘My soul, where are you? Do you hear me? I speak, I call you—are you there? I have returned, I am here again. I have shaken the dust of all the lands from my feet, and I have come to you, I am with you. After long years of long wandering, I have come to you again. Should I tell you everything I have seen, experienced, and drunk in? Or do you not want to hear about all the noise of life and the world? But one thing you must know: the one thing I have learned is that one must live this life." [4] 

SCHEME IVA, Front Elevation, east, pencil on vellum, July 12, 1961

"'This life is the way, the long sought-after way to the unfathomable, which we call divine. There is no other way, all other ways are false paths. I found the right way, it led me to you, to my soul. I return, tempered and purified. Do you still know me? How long the separation lasted! Everything has become so different. And how did I find you? How strange my journey was! What words should I use to tell you on what twisted paths a good star has guided me to you? Give me your hand, my almost forgotten soul. How warm the joy at seeing you again, you long disavowed soul. Life has led me back to you. Let us thank the life I have lived for all the happy and all the sad hours, for every joy, for every sadness. My soul, my journey should continue with you. I will wander with you and ascend to my solitude.’" [4]

SCHEME IVB, Front Elevation, east, pencil on vellum

"The spirit of the depths forced me to say this and at the same time to undergo it against myself, since I had not expected it then. I still labored misguidedly under the spirit of this time, and thought differently about the human soul. I thought and spoke much of the soul. I knew many learned words for her, I had judged her and turned her into a scientific object. I did not consider that my soul cannot be the object of my judgment and knowledge; much more are my judgment and knowledge the objects of my soul. Therefore the spirit of the depths forced me to speak to my soul, to call upon her as a living and self-existing being. I had to become aware that I had lost my soul.

From this we learn how the spirit of the depths considers the soul: he sees her as a living and self-existing being, and with this he contradicts the spirit of this time for whom the soul is a thing dependent on man, which lets herself be judged and arranged, and whose circumference we can grasp. I had to accept that what I had previously called my soul was not at all my soul, but a dead system. Hence I had to speak to my soul as to something far off and unknown, which did not exist through me, but through whom I existed." [4]

SCHEME IVB, Front Elevation, east, pencil on vellum

SCHEME VI, Front Elevation, east, final presentation, ink on mylar, December 8, 1962

"He whose desire turns away from outer things, reaches the place of the soul. If he does not find the soul, the horror of emptiness will overcome him, and fear will drive him with a whip lashing time and again in a desperate endeavor and a blind desire for the hollow things of the world. He becomes a fool through his endless desire, and forgets the way of his soul, never to find her again. He will run after all things, and will seize hold of them, but he will not find his soul, since he would find her only in himself Truly his soul lies in things and men, but the blind one seizes things and men, yet not his soul in things and men. He has no knowledge of his soul. How could he tell her apart from things and men? He could find his soul in desire itself, but not in the objects of desire. If he possessed his desire, and his desire did not possess him, he would lay a hand on his soul, since his desire is the image and expression of his soul.

If we possess the image of a thing, we possess half the thing.

The image of the world is half the world. He who possesses the world but not its image possesses only half the world, since his soul is poor and has nothing. The wealth of the soul exists in images. He who possesses the image of the world, possesses half the world, even if his humanity is poor and owns nothing. But hunger makes the soul into a beast that devours the unbearable and is poisoned by it. My friends, it is wise to nourish the soul, otherwise you will breed dragons and devils in your heart." [4]









"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy."

The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus

“If temperamentally we are on the depressive side, we are apt to be swamped with guilt and self-loathing. We wallow in this messy bog, often getting a misshapen and painful pleasure out of it. As we morbidly pursue this melancholy activity, we may sink to such a point of despair that nothing but oblivion looks possible as a solution. Here, of course, we have lost all perspective, and therefore all genuine humility. For this is pride in reverse. This is not a moral inventory at all; it is the very process by which the depressive has so often been led to the bottle and extinction.”

- "Step Four," Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions, Alcoholics Anonymous

But suicides have a special language

Like carpenters they want to know which tools.

They never ask why build.

- Anne Sexton

“In a clinical setting, assessment of suicide risk must precede any attempt to treat psychiatric illness or prevent suicide. Asking a patient directly about suicidal thoughts or plans is an obvious and essential part of history taking. In addition to an individual’s stated plans about suicide, there are other major risk factors that need to be evaluated: the presence or absence of severe anxiety, agitation, or perturbance; the pervasiveness, type, and severity of psychopathology; the extent of hopeless- ness; the presence or absence of a severe sleep disturbance or of mixed states; current alcohol or drug abuse; ease of access to a lethal means, especially firearms; lack of access to good medical and psychological treatment; recent severe causes of stress, such as a divorce, job loss, or death in the family; a family his- tory of suicidal or violent behavior; social isolation, or a lack of friends and family; close proximity to a first episode of depression, mania, or schizophrenia; and recent release from a psychiatric hospital.

[...] Suicide usually requires multiple 'hits'—a biological pre- disposition, a major psychiatric illness, and an acute life stress—but only some of these 'hits' are amenable to change. There is, for example, relatively little a doctor can do to control many of the major stresses in a patient’s life: they occur too randomly, and thus are difficult to predict and even more difficult to govern.” [3]

“While depression is by no means unknown when people stop drinking, it is usually on a scale that is not menacing. But it should be kept in mind how idiosyncratic the faces of depression can be.

It was not really alarming at first, since the change was subtle, but I did notice that my surroundings took on a different tone at certain times: the shadows of nightfall seemed more somber, my mornings were less buoyant, walks in the woods became less zestful, and there was a moment during my working hours in the late afternoon when a kind of panic and anxiety overtook me, just for a few minutes, accompanied by a visceral queasiness--such a seizure was at least slightly alarming, after all. As I set down these recollections, I realize that it should have been plain to me that I was already in the grip of the beginning of a mood disorder, but I was ignorant of such a condition at that time.

When I reflected on this curious alteration of my consciousness --and I was baffled enough from time to time to do so--I assumed that it all had to do somehow with my enforced withdrawal from alcohol. And, of course, to a certain extent this was true. But it is my conviction now that alcohol played a perverse trick on me when we said farewell to each other; although, as everyone should know, it is a major depressant, it had never truly depressed me during my drinking career, acting instead as a shield against anxiety. Suddenly vanished, the great ally which for so long had kept my demons at bay was no longer there to prevent those demons from beginning to swarm through the subconscious, and I was emotionally naked, vulnerable as I had never been before.” [1]

“He began having trouble sitting down. After only a few minutes in the chair the blood inside his legs would thicken. His thighs would become tight and hard until he couldn’t feel them. When he tried to stand he would often fall unless he waited posed and frozen like a urinating dog to let the platelets loosen up and flow back through his body. The mornings were the hardest. Sometimes getting out of bed took longer than the increasingly spotty sleep itself.

He went to the doctor. The doctor didn’t look at him, but rather beside him, even when he spoke, like there was someone else there he couldn’t see.

‘You’re getting older,’ the doctor said to the almost empty space. ‘Your shape is changing. It’s nothing new. All those years of food and sun and work, they’re all crammed in there, thrumming in your body. This will go on till you die.’

The walls seemed very near around them, white and edgeless.

‘And it doesn’t get better. It gets worse,’ the doctor said. ‘No matter how much you do, there’s always more you haven’t done. Those masses of inaction become trapped inside the brain and incubate and cloud your sense of self. So that by the time you start to feel you understand how or who you are or where or what you’ve been, that person is already gone. It’s happening to everybody, always, even now.’” [2]

"The doctor wrote out some prescriptions — pills for the morning, pills for night. He told him to exercise more, and to rest more.

The pills didn’t help. No matter how much he took or how often, at night when he got home and tried to sit, he found his blood continued thickening, getting harder even faster than it had before, his legs staying numb even longer.

It never happened at work, during the hours he’d have been just as glad to not be able move through. It was only when his time belonged solely to him that his flesh seemed to have decided doing nothing was better than doing anything.

Soon it wasn’t just the legs. He felt the blood begin to cluster in his ribcage, in his shoulders, up the inside of his face. He felt it pulsing in his jaw, lapping at his skull. The more he tried not to let it bother him, to focus elsewhere, the faster it gathered, the more deeply in his body it would reach. As long as he kept moving he could stay clear, though often even standing too long in the same place made his blood begin to stick.

He did his best to keep himself busy, doing stretches, drinking caffeine, eating the pills. But still he’d get hung up bending over to take the paper, putting his shoes on. It was becoming very hard to read a book or kneel to pray." [2]

"Over time, he seemed to have less and less control of what he was doing. He watched himself eat food he did not want to eat, read books he did not wish to read, go places even knowing he’d much rather have been most any other place. Colors would sometimes fill his vision, obscuring what parts of the world around him he could see. The colors looked like splattered paint, then like decades of sky stacked on top of one another, each with its own earth underneath it. The time the colors lasted grew a little each time, as did the amount of time required to make his body remember how to move.

He began to walk to work. He was always late then, and always sweating. He couldn’t find ways to make his mouth say what he meant. The blood seemed to cave in over his thinking, gathering intensity and definition the more he thought. It grew harder to remember where he’d been, which room in the house led to what other room, how many years he’d been alive. What clear thoughts he did have were almost worse; he imagined home invasions, fires, earthquakes, knives flying from the sky, against any of which he, held there in the increasingly long bouts of immobility, would have no defense and no escape.

He called to set up another appointment with his doctor and was given a date three weeks in the future.

By then, whole nights would pass with him unable to move. He could still feel his brain inside him thinking, waiting for the blood again to turn him loose, but the way time passed while he waited didn’t work right. What felt like a half an hour would by the clock’s word be five, then 15, day’s date shifting like a frail panel underneath him." [2]

"The time he could manage to keep moving before he gave in to the inertia kept getting shorter, closing the window of what he could cram in to any day. Gaps began appearing in his understanding of how he got from moment to another. He’d be there at the mirror in his bedroom, then he’d be tending to the lawn or, having climbed up on the roof once, shouting at no one. Bruises appeared on his arms and thighs. He had a new haircut. He’d bought a pickaxe. He was walking slowly through the mall. There’d be other people sometimes, though he couldn’t understand what they were saying.

At some point he tried to write down what was happening to him but the words that came out didn’t seem like what he meant.

Each time he sat or lay down it was with the understanding this time might be the last, that when the final sliver of the difference between who he had been and who he was now wholly vanished, he wouldn’t know enough to notice, nor would anybody." [2]







"Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves."

- "Promises," The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 83-84

"I'm lying in bed when the thumping arrives, like a foreign invader. It's a horrible dark mass, like the monolith in 2001, self-organized but completely unknowable, and it enters my body and releases adrenaline. Like a black hole, it sucks in any benign thoughts that might be scrolling across my brain and attaches visceral panic to them. [...] I can feel the irrationality and anxiety draining my store of energy like a battery-operated racecar grinding away in the corner. This is energy I will need to get through the next day. But I just lie in bed and watch it burn, and with it any hope for a productive tomorrow. There go the dishes, there goes the grocery store, there goes exercise, there goes bringing in the garbage cans. There goes basic human kindness. I wake up in a sweat so thorough I sleep with a pitcher of water by the bed or I might die of dehydration."

- Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel, Maria Semple

"We are the failures on, not the governors of, this earth. [...] The diseased fear only poverty. For all else is theirs and not to be feared: isolation, the ravages of sexual needs, ravaging sexual need, misunderstanding, autism, visual and audial hallucination, paranoia [...]"

- "Lust," Hannibal Lecter, My Father, Kathy Acker

"By all counts and measures, Bradley Smith is an unequivocal business success. He's CEO of Rescue One Financial, an Irvine, California-based financial services company that had sales of nearly $32 million last year. Smith's company has grown some 1,400 percent in the last three years, landing it at No. 310 on this year's Inc. 500. So you might never guess that just five years ago, Smith was on the brink of financial ruin--and mental collapse.

Back in 2008, Smith was working long hours counseling nervous clients about getting out of debt. But his calm demeanor masked a secret: He shared their fears. Like them, Smith was sinking deeper and deeper into debt. He had driven himself far into the red starting--of all things--a debt-settlement company. 'I was hearing how depressed and strung out my clients were, but in the back of my mind I was thinking to myself, I've got twice as much debt as you do,' Smith recalls."

"He had cashed in his 401(k) and maxed out a $60,000 line of credit. He had sold the Rolex he bought with his first-ever paycheck during an earlier career as a stockbroker. And he had humbled himself before his father--the man who raised him on maxims such as 'money doesn't grow on trees' and 'never do business with family'--by asking for $10,000, which he received at 5 percent interest after signing a promissory note.

Smith projected optimism to his co-founders and 10 employees, but his nerves were shot. 'My wife and I would share a bottle of $5 wine for dinner and just kind of look at each other,' Smith says. 'We knew we were close to the edge.' Then the pressure got worse: The couple learned they were expecting their first child. 'There were sleepless nights, staring at the ceiling,' Smith recalls. 'I'd wake up at 4 in the morning with my mind racing, thinking about this and that, not being able to shut it off, wondering, When is this thing going to turn?' After eight months of constant anxiety, Smith's company finally began making money."

"Successful entrepreneurs achieve hero status in our culture. We idolize the Mark Zuckerbergs and the Elon Musks. And we celebrate the blazingly fast growth of the Inc. 500 companies. But many of those entrepreneurs, like Smith, harbor secret demons: Before they made it big, they struggled through moments of near-debilitating anxiety and despair--times when it seemed everything might crumble.

Until recently, admitting such sentiments was taboo. Rather than showing vulnerability, business leaders have practiced what social psychiatrists call impression management--also known as "fake it till you make it." Toby Thomas, CEO of EnSite Solutions (No. 188 on the Inc. 500), explains the phenomenon with his favorite analogy: a man riding a lion. "People look at him and think, This guy's really got it together! He's brave!" says Thomas. 'And the man riding the lion is thinking, How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?'"

"Not everyone who walks through darkness makes it out. In January, well-known founder Jody Sherman, 47, of the e-commerce site Ecomom took his own life. His death shook the start-up community. It also reignited a discussion about entrepreneurship and mental health that began two years earlier after the suicide of Ilya Zhitomirskiy, the 22-year-old co-founder of Diaspora, a social networking site. [ED: After the original publication of this piece in September 2013, Autumn Radtke, the American CEO of First Meta, also committed suicide, leaving a comment on the online version of this article saying, "Everything has its price." She was 28.]

Lately, more entrepreneurs have begun speaking out about their internal struggles in an attempt to combat the stigma on depression and anxiety that makes it hard for sufferers to seek help. In a deeply personal post called "When Death Feels Like a Good Option," Ben Huh, the CEO of the Cheezburger Network humor websites, wrote about his suicidal thoughts following a failed startup in 2001. Sean Percival, a former MySpace vice president and co-founder of the children's clothing startup Wittlebee, penned a piece called 'When It's Not All Good, Ask for Help' on his website. 'I was to the edge and back a few times this past year with my business and own depression,' he wrote. 'If you're about to lose it, please contact me.' (Percival now urges distressed entrepreneurs to seek professional help: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.)"

"Brad Feld, a managing director of the Foundry Group, started blogging in October about his latest episode of depression. The problem wasn't new--the prominent venture capitalist had struggled with mood disorders throughout his adult life--and he didn't expect much of a response. But then came the emails. Hundreds of them. Many were from entrepreneurs who had also wrestled with anxiety and despair. (For more of Feld's thoughts on depression, see his column, 'Surviving the Dark Nights of the Soul,' in Inc.'s July/August issue.) 'If you saw the list of names, it would surprise you a great deal,' says Feld. 'They are very successful people, very visible, very charismatic--yet they've struggled with this silently. There's a sense that they can't talk about it, that it's a weakness or a shame or something. They feel like they're hiding, which makes the whole thing worse.'

If you run a business, that probably all sounds familiar. It's a stressful job that can create emotional turbulence. For starters, there's the high risk of failure. Three out of four venture-backed startups fail, according to research by Shikhar Ghosh, a Harvard Business School lecturer. Ghosh also found that more than 95 percent of startups fall short of their initial projections.

Entrepreneurs often juggle many roles and face countless setbacks--lost customers, disputes with partners, increased competition, staffing problems--all while struggling to make payroll. 'There are traumatic events all the way along the line,' says psychiatrist and former entrepreneur Michael A. Freeman, who is researching mental health and entrepreneurship."

"Complicating matters, new entrepreneurs often make themselves less resilient by neglecting their health. They eat too much or too little. They don't get enough sleep. They fail to exercise. 'You can get into a startup mode, where you push yourself and abuse your body' Freeman says. 'That can trigger mood vulnerability.'

So it should come as little surprise that entrepreneurs experience more anxiety than employees. In the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 34 percent of entrepreneurs--4 percentage points more than other workers--reported they were worried. And 45 percent of entrepreneurs said they were stressed, 3 percentage points more than other workers.

But it may be more than a stressful job that pushes some founders over the edge. According to researchers, many entrepreneurs share innate character traits that make them more vulnerable to mood swings. "People who are on the energetic, motivated, and creative side are both more likely to be entrepreneurial and more likely to have strong emotional states," says Freeman. Those states may include depression, despair, hopelessness, worthlessness, loss of motivation, and suicidal thinking."

"Call it the downside of being up. The same passionate dispositions that drive founders heedlessly toward success can sometimes consume them. Business owners are 'vulnerable to the dark side of obsession,' suggest researchers from the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. They conducted interviews with founders for a study about entrepreneurial passion. The researchers found that many subjects displayed signs of clinical obsession, including strong feelings of distress and anxiety, which have 'the potential to lead to impaired functioning,' they wrote in a paper published in the Entrepreneurship Research Journal in April.

Reinforcing that message is John Gartner, a practicing psychologist who teaches at Johns Hopkins University Medical School. In his book The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (a Little) Craziness and (a Lot of) Success in America, Gartner argues that an often-overlooked temperament--hypomania--may be responsible for some entrepreneurs' strengths as well as their flaws.

A milder version of mania, hypomania often occurs in the relatives of manic-depressives and affects an estimated 5 percent to 10 percent of Americans. 'If you're manic, you think you're Jesus,' says Gartner. 'If you're hypomanic, you think you're God's gift to technology investing. We're talking about different levels of grandiosity but the same symptoms.'

"Gartner theorizes that there are so many hypomanics--and so many entrepreneurs--in the U.S. because our country's national character rose on waves of immigration. "We're a self-selected population," he says. 'Immigrants have unusual ambition, energy, drive, and risk tolerance, which lets them take a chance on moving for a better opportunity. These are biologically based temperament traits. If you seed an entire continent with them, you're going to get a nation of entrepreneurs.'

Though driven and innovative, hypomanics are at much higher risk for depression than the general population, notes Gartner. Failure can spark these depressive episodes, of course, but so can anything that slows a hypomanic's momentum. 'They're like border collies--they have to run,' says Gartner. 'If you keep them inside, they chew up the furniture. They go crazy; they just pace around. That's what hypomanics do. They need to be busy, active, overworking.'

No matter what your psychological makeup, big setbacks in your business can knock you flat. Even experienced entrepreneurs have had the rug pulled out from under them. Mark Woeppel launched Pinnacle Strategies, a management consulting firm, in 1992. In 2009, his phone stopped ringing.

Caught in the global financial crisis, his customers were suddenly more concerned with survival than with boosting their output. Sales plummeted 75 percent. Woeppel laid off his half-dozen employees. Before long, he had exhausted his assets: cars, jewelry, anything that could go. His supply of confidence was dwindling, too. 'As CEO, you have this self-image--you're the master of the universe,' he says. 'Then all of a sudden, you are not.'

"Woeppel stopped leaving his house. Anxious and low on self-esteem, he started eating too much--and put on 50 pounds. Sometimes he sought temporary relief in an old addiction: playing the guitar. Locked in a room, he practiced solos by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Chet Atkins. 'It was something I could do just for the love of doing it,' he recalls. 'Then there was nothing but me, the guitar, and the peace.'

Through it all, he kept working to develop new services. He just hoped his company would hang on long enough to sell them. In 2010, customers started to return. Pinnacle scored its biggest-ever contract, with an aerospace manufacturer, on the basis of a white paper Woeppel had written during the downturn. Last year, Pinnacle's revenue hit $7 million. Sales are up more than 5,000 percent since 2009, earning the company a spot at No. 57 on this year's Inc. 500.

Woeppel says he's more resilient now, tempered by tough times. 'I used to be like, "My work is me,"' he says. 'Then you fail. And you find out that your kids still love you. Your wife still loves you. Your dog still loves you.'

But for many entrepreneurs, the battle wounds never fully heal. That was the case for John Pope, CEO of WellDog, a Laramie, Wyoming-based energy technology firm. On Dec. 11, 2002, Pope had exactly $8.42 in the bank. He was 90 days late on his car payment. He was 75 days behind on the mortgage. The IRS had filed a lien against him. His home phone, cell phone, and cable TV had all been turned off. In less than a week, the natural-gas company was scheduled to suspend service to the house he shared with his wife and daughters. Then there would be no heat. His company was expecting a wire transfer from the oil company Shell, a strategic investor, after months of negotiations had ended with a signed 380-page contract. So Pope waited.

The wire arrived the next day. Pope--along with his company--was saved. Afterward, he made a list of all the ways in which he had financially overreached. 'I'm going to remember this,' he recalls thinking. 'It's the farthest I'm willing to go.'

Since then, WellDog has taken off: In the past three years, sales grew more than 3,700 percent, to $8 million, making the company No. 89 on the Inc. 500. But emotional residue from the years of tumult still lingers. 'There's always that feeling of being overextended, of never being able to relax,' says Pope. 'You end up with a serious confidence problem. You feel like every time you build up security, something happens to take it away.'

Pope sometimes catches himself emotionally overreacting to small things. It's a behavior pattern that reminds him of posttraumatic stress disorder. 'Something happens, and you freak out about it,' he says. 'But the scale of the problem is a lot less than the scale of your emotional reaction. That just comes with the scar tissue of going through these things.'

"Though launching a company will always be a wild ride, full of ups and downs, there are things entrepreneurs can do to help keep their lives from spiraling out of control, say experts. Most important, make time for your loved ones, suggests Freeman. 'Don't let your business squeeze out your connections with human beings,' he says. When it comes to fighting off depression, relationships with friends and family can be powerful weapons. And don't be afraid to ask for help--see a mental health professional if you are experiencing symptoms of significant anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, or depression.

Freeman also advises that entrepreneurs limit their financial exposure. When it comes to assessing risk, entrepreneurs' blind spots are often big enough to drive a Mack truck through, he says. The consequences can rock not only your bank account but also your stress levels. So set a limit for how much of your own money you're prepared to invest. And don't let friends and family kick in more than they can afford to lose.

Cardiovascular exercise, a healthful diet, and adequate sleep all help, too. So does cultivating an identity apart from your company. 'Build a life centered on the belief that self-worth is not the same as net worth,' says Freeman. 'Other dimensions of your life should be part of your identity.' Whether you're raising a family, sitting on the board of a local charity, building model rockets in the backyard, or going swing dancing on weekends, it's important to feel successful in areas unrelated to work.

The ability to reframe failure and loss can also help leaders maintain good mental health. 'Instead of telling yourself, "I failed, the business failed, I'm a loser," says Freeman,' look at the data from a different perspective: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Life is a constant process of trial and error. Don't exaggerate the experience.'

Last, be open about your feelings--don't mask your emotions, even at the office, suggests Brad Feld. When you are willing to be emotionally honest, he says, you can connect more deeply with the people around you. 'When you deny yourself and you deny what you're about, people can see through that,' says Feld. 'Willingness to be vulnerable is very powerful for a leader.'"