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Archive for December 16th, 2011

Buckminster Fuller on Gifts and Genius

Friday, December 16th, 2011

I am a huge fan of geodesic domes (simple example at right). Once upon a time I did some research to find out what it would take to build one as my home. At the time there were two main methods, both more affordable than standard home building.

I never built my dome, though how it might look is still clear in my mind. Its potential has not left my possibilities entirely.

The gentleman who developed the geodesic dome was R. Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller, 1895-1983. Domes are remarkably strong and light.

A friend who lived through Florida’s Hurricane Andrew told me a dome house in her area rolled to another neighborhood but did not fail. It was put back on its original lot and lived in again. The weakest link was in the tethering of the home to the foundation. Fascinating.

I twice have visited the BioSphere in Montreal, Quebec Canada. That dome is many stories high, and almost spherical. It’s now a nature-focused live museum space. It was first built for Expo ’67.  Take a peek, it’s magnificent!

For years I’ve had a simple quotation site. A quote from B. Fuller I’ve had there is this:

When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
— Buckminster Fuller

Here is a quote worth pondering, which I just found in my “new” quote book (A Collection of Wisdom, Rodney Ohebsion). Wow, this man was wise!

I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know. Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly.
— Buckminster Fuller

So, what if he were right? How could we reclaim that genius we may have lost? Can we just assume we had more and can get it back again?

Could this be something like being an artist as a child (crayons on the wall notwithstanding) and then thinking as adults that we’re “not talented?”

I am 53 years old. I hope I have not stopped the exploration of whatever genius might be inside me. It seems at times, I only see my warts. What is there, unnoticed, waiting to be uncovered?