A fantasy riff (prolly… no doubt actually, missing much & fantasizing more)

on social norms… about which I admit being “creative”.

Viewing from our deck up the Sound, north, toward Vashon Island…

Notice at the corner with the boat that pole bent like a basketball goal, with a windmill… now there is a first example… which is a sculpture. A battered sculpture. A sculpture about which we’ve been curious, even before it became damaged. We’d admired it on our first walk along the water, while we were visiting our unfinished condo building.

It is imagined as a sort of wind-activated pterodactyl mounted on the strip along the Water Walk which is part of the Tacoma City Park system. The site catalogs the sizable collection of about 30 pieces displayed around our development. Thus we learned that it was designed & welded by Mike Workman. It is named “Sugar“.

The assemblage includes a windmill with bat-wing-like propeller blades & a vane to orient it into the wind, 28 feet above ground level.

The name was suggested by the artist’s 89-year-old mother to ameliorate it fierce visage. Thus she also sports long eyelashes. Apparently that part of the sculpture was damaged by that wind… it disappeared a short while after we first saw it.

Her 11-foot wingspan is welded of 603 pieces of steel & weighs 200 pounds. Powder-coated makeup adds color. I love the eyelashes!

We’ve only recently learned more about it… just as, & because… it has been removed!

Looking from our deck one morning just last week I heard noises & saw two hoists working on her… hoping that she was being repaired. But as I watched her base was completely removed, suggesting something more than repair.

The artist was reclaiming what had been displayed on consignment. It had not sold at the featured price of $68,000 (Considerably less than the retail of $80,000.)

I appreciate the situation, but I am certainly going to miss her!

Such is the kind of story I began this post to write: the sensible reclamation of this site mixed-up with the other obviously less positive results in the realities of such a large development.

I now realize that this must become a first installment in the complexity of a larger musing.

But since I began with the view from our deck, I won’t leave it hanging without telling part of the curiosity I’ve been cogitating… a question about the decks seen below. These big expanses are the roofs above the first four floors of condo units. When we first began meeting this building, they tempted this gardener, even knowing any plants were going to have to grow in pots, but, as travelers wanting to simplify leaving for generous periods of time, we resisted.

Because the property’s foundations are just at sea level, any underground parking is impossible because that would be guaranteed to quickly be flooded, so instead the living units are built around the concrete core of the parking ramp. I am ever intrigued as I continue to decipher this building.

The condo building’s first floor is beneath the lobby, at street level. We drive up the ramp three turns to the fourth floor, where we have 2 parking spots. A quick walk, often accompanied by the collapsible wagon which carries shopping or whatever we are bringing along, through a locked security door, then a short distance to the elevator lifting us to the 8th floor outdoor corridor. A brisk walk of 90 feet in the ambient weather brings us to our front door… home! Heaven!

We might then look down on those lower decks, filled with several hundred thousand dollars worth of fancy outdoor furniture… on which we see very little life! We spend quite a bit of time tasting the air & feasting on the views from there. How do those seemingly over-equipped neighbors utilize such abundance? Some few do make appearances. Those watering their planters are often out earlier than I, but I see the wet traces on happy plants. We celebrate observing occasional bits of entertaining. I trust to expect more of that as the community of neighbors evolves.

I am novice from a rural history. This is thoroughly different sociology… inviting, & indeed, requiring numerous new definitions translated from half a dozen languages… all the shades of humanity are those neighbors. Some far more experienced in such sociology. I’m happily learning this new palette.Indeed… Huitieme Ciel is

Huitieme Ciel is indeed “Eighth Heaven”!

canvas wagon collecting our shopping through a door secured by our key fobs )

We look down onto the much larger decks where there has been collecting a hundred thousand dollars worth of furniture… seemingly ready to be rarely used… but symbolic of the population finding itself being also collected by the building.

To the south a similar view, although perhaps a bit more restrained… being closer to the main traffic artery.

We celebrate the dual tracks of the BNSF which shape our daily soundtrack. These become a fascinating switch-yard of a wide variety of rail-cars collecting containers off-loaded in the port on their way to wherever, sometimes seeming to return as some “mad hatter” sorts out the final(?) configuration heading toward some final destination.

Staying here involves the moods of La Mama… Our Lady Tahoma, the mountain whose name has tried to be stolen by someone by the name Rainier. I suggest & celebrate my belief that temporary theft will00 be remediated.
Even eight floors up the ecology cannot be ignored… all is space.

So I float in new. I thrive in numerous lifts. Often lost in the processes, using my stick to navigate. I’ve long been a reticent pilgrim.

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