Mi Caro, Antoni Gaudi,
Before you, what was there? I can’t even remember.
In my foggy memory there are visions of flat forms and half-hearted cold, stone, dead flowers. Buildings that seem like cracked china dolls in dresses of ancient and stained lace. Then out of no where, a Skeletal, Barcelnonian Dragon bursts through and consumes all things with the flames of passion, hyperboles of terror and arches carved from purest love. That dragon’s name: Catha Bathillo. No knight in shining armor is coming to stop this monster. It was the shining knight that set it free.
You set my world on fire, and filled me to the brim with your glory.
Well what now then? You and I both know what is coming: You’re going to give yourself to that Church. La Sagrada Familia. I have been to the beginning and I will never need anything to make me see the infinite you create there, no concoction, no drug, no drink. In your perfectly imperfect hallucination there is only true beauty…this does not mean I will not have a drink, drug or concoction anyway.
So GO. Fight that clean industrial and unforgiving crispness, Go to your church, GO to God, and don’t forget to put in a good word for me. I will need it.
My Dearest William Le Baron Jenney,
I’ve missed you terribly. More than I thought I would as a matter of fact. Ever since you went away I can barely look outside without thinking of you and slowly but surely I realized how much you meant to me.
I know I pushed you away. I can’t tell you how many times I regretted yelling at you. I’m sorry for telling you that your desire for change was just an unpractical dream and that you chase these strange visions through moats, boats, jungles and cities only to find nothingness. I was wrong, but you didn’t need me to tell you that, you already know.
Will, do you remember that day in Paris when you gave us all such a great scare? You fell off the bridge and I went diving in after you, and when I pulled you to shore you were babbling about how stone was a pathetic structural choice, that you could do the same job at one third the weight with steel. You said we could be free, all of us. You said that stone just made us cling to our notions that we had to pay homage to the ghosts of dead empires we no longer feared. We all thought you had a concussion.
Then Gustave Eiffel brought you a flask of wine and you refused to drink it. He listened as you continued to ramble. I realize now what I should have realized then. That in those few moments of terror you had reached a clarity it would take me years to see.
I know that it’s too late, for me, for us. I’m here. You’re in Chicago. You can’t possibly leave, what with that team of Lost Boys you call a firm, and my duty is here. But know that if I had to do it all over again, I still would have jumped into the Seine, but this time I would have listened to your nonsense.
Dear Margaret Macdonald,
I can’t take it anymore darling. Last time we sat there, our merry little party; your sister, Frances, her husband McNair, Charles, you and I, I realized I can’t keep this is a secret anymore. I know my timing is horrible and it doesn’t make any sense for me to feel this way; our lives are such that any sort of action on these emotions on my part would be foolhardy and inevitably lead to heartbreak.
That being said, I didn’t want to lose the lottery jackpot just because I didn’t buy a ticket, so you see why I had to tell you how I feel… Your paintings are so beautiful; I fell in love with them, and with you. And not just the paintings, you are a true renaissance woman. Metalwork, ceramics, textile, all of them speak not only of the modern aspect but also speak of your deep investment in your Scottish heritage. You prove that a lack of formal decoration does not mean a lack of history and memory…
Come with me, you can escape the eclipse of your husband. He may be a good architect, but you are great everything.
Dear Charles Rennie Mackintosh,
Fine. Be that way. But JUST SO YOU KNOW, Margaret was coming to tell me that she is staying with you.
You didn’t need to make that scene in the Willow Tea Room. We could have been adults, we could have talked. But what you did, honestly, it was just embarrassing. Just because you designed it, doesn’t mean you can smash that perfectly executed chair over my head.
I think your rage was just because you know deep in your heart that I see what you see. Margaret has real genius, you only have talent. Look at your work before you met Margaret and your work after her influence. It’s undeniable.
Admit it. Hill House never would have happened without her. The clean, angular lines are out of her sketchbook and transferred into three dimensional spaces by your hand. Your work is impressive Chuck, maybe even timeless, but that is no excuse for your behavior towards me.
By the time you read this, I will have left with Giles Gilbert Scott. If you want to fight me, find me in London. I’ll be the one in Red Glass box.
Salve Marcus Vitruvius Pollio,
It is no longer possible for me to live with you, yet I cannot live without you either. Is it secure to feel this way? In short, tortured by you, am I.
Firmitas, Utilitas, Venustas. You are my strength, my utility and my delight. I have never found a man who is more the balance of all three like you. Often, both in men and in buildings, there is clarity and strength but no joy. With others, their charm is unmistakable but so it their frivolity.
Now I know that you, yourself have never created a structure to match your dogma perfectly, clearly this is intentional on your part. For as your patron’s sire once said “Creating is better than learning. Creating is the essence of life.” Following rules to the letter is irrelevant as long as beauty in the end creation is your desire.
Sometime now I’ve have feared your wary eye,
The logic and order of these things gone by,
Having seen you at lupercalia, that great festival,
So now there is nothing for me but to fall.