Zach likes objects the way I like people. He likes to look at them and think about them and say “what is all this about?” and he falls in love with some of them as individuals but he absolutely does not want all of them in his house all the time.
We are in complete disagreement about stuff. I love stuff. I love quantity. I love accumulation. Zach would rather have only one thing and have it be crafted with loving tender practiced knowingness into a form simply and entirely itself. I would not mind having three thousand things, even if that included a bunch of old lighters that did not work. If I had a shoebox filled with old lighters that did not work I would keep it in my closet on a shelf with yearbooks from schools I didn’t go to and plastic trophies won by other people’s stupid kids for things like “sportsmanship,” and Zach would say “just give those old lighters away,” and I would say “I will,” and I wouldn’t.
I love that if I dug around my room I would find all sorts of new things that would surprise me. Clutter is delicious. There are always new things to find. I don’t want a room with only one thing in it, like a room that just has one vase in it and nothing else and each time I walk into the room it is still just the room with the vase.
Zach would say that I am wrong wrong wrong about this. He would say that if you had a room with nothing in it but a vase — a simple vase — a wonderful vase — a vase with a form simply and wonderfully itself — then you could walk into that room every day and every day you would find something new.
This June I visited Zach in Oakland. We went to the gardens and the lake and the park and we sat down under the trees and watched the geese and ate cheese puffs and I had brought Beowulf with the intention of reading Beowulf but my attention span was shot so instead I opened my notebook and wrote a little song:
Lone goose. Proud goose. Tall goose. Sand goose.
What is the name your mother calls you?
What is the name you call yourself?
I wrote the date at the top of the page, so as to capture the moment, but I got it all wrong. Or — I got the July Third part right but I wrote 2021 instead of 2023. Time is so silly like that. It jumps around. Days never stay in order. They take you by surprise.
Every day I walk into the day and the day is filled with only one thing that fills it entirely and the day is filled with so many small things and the things are entirely familiar and the things are entirely new.