Wednesday, September 24, 2014

white canvas

As is the character in the latest book by Haruki Murakami, am I colorless? I think not. In fact, my lack of colorlessness, my heated hues of opinion, bias, prejudice, and passion, often define me, not in ways I always prefer. Such is what it is, what I am. No, not colorless. Not colorless like Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, a fictional character who saw himself, at some point in his life, as drab, background, plain, unnoticed. A white canvas.

Speaking of white canvas, over by the Erie Canal trail in Minoa, New York, today I read about Canvass White. Great name. And quite the inventor and among the greatest civil engineers. He patented hydraulic cement. No small invention. Hardly a colorless background sort of guy. Or maybe he was, in his personal life. (I don't know.) Can you imagine, though, how hugely important the Erie Canal was? Sort of like the Internet of its day.

Give a tip of the cap to Canvass White, ye technocrats. Kudos to Canvass White, you bridge-builders, skyscraper builders, and highwaymen.

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