Monday, June 29, 2009

Dear Buckminster Fuller

This letter was sent to Buckminster Fuller on November 19, 1982, nine months before his death (from the book Buckminster Fuller: Anthology for the New Millennium edited by Thomas T.K. Zung). The letter and Fuller's response choke me up every time.

Dear Buckminster Fuller:
My last grandmother died recently, as expected, but I didn't expect to remember so much I forgot to talk with her about, and I'm a bit blue when I think of her. She was born about the time when you were, and since your death soon could not be called unexpected, I want to send you a note of appreciation.
Insofar as I represent the generation twice removed from yours (younger in human terms, older in Universe time), I want to thank you on behalf of all of us, for a life well done. There's no question that you will be better known in fifty years than you are now, because every year your ideas, language, and general optimism appear to become more saturated in the collective consciousness.
You have know the stagecoach, yet remain on the cutting edge of the electronic age. You are so wonderfully arranged that I can be assured that you will read this letter. How you come to God, I don't understand, but God bless you.

Joe [Joseph Wheelwright]

Buckminster Fuller responded on December 13, 1982

Dear Joe,
There have been two generations of Wheelwright friends in the first half of my life. They were all admirable individuals. I interpret your spontaneous writing to me in so daringly tender a way as a message of comprehension and accord from all those whom I love who have died and in my youth were so often dismayed and alarmed by all the mistakes I had to make to become shocked into discovering what I had to learn. This was to thoughtfully discover on my own, in both the biggest and most exquisite ways, what needed to be done, and could now be done for the first time in history to make the world work for everybody. It was a task that required a special-case individual to initiate, and individual who had come to the point of suicide and was inspired to commit his total experience inventory only to the advantage of all others but self.
There's lots more to be done, which it seems to me I have to do before I die, as a follow-through in accomplishing all that with which I committed myself to cope. I never pray God to do anything, because God would not be God if the eternal, absolute intellectual competence needed my suggestions.
I  feel sure that God holds you in grace and will continue to do so. I thank God for an additional Wheelwright friend.

Faithfully yours,
Buckminster Fuller

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