There was courage in her when she was a kid. The bravery she's shown recently is an outcome of what was always natural with her.
To reveal an intimate personal matter to the world at large may seem like someone's speaking a different language from what was heard when the lingo was about rescuing wounded soldiers off Hacksaw Ridge but actually their commonality is basic. Both are action-verb based, both perceive a will to respond, directly and personally, to an immediate human need.
Daniela, taking note of the many women who've been speaking out about unwanted sexual advances made by famed, powerful men, men well-known through the media, decided to reveal her own story, to make public the aggressive sexual attention she'd been made to endure by her well-known father. Her #MeToo admission is a call-to-arms: I'm proud to cheer for her even though I know waving an honor banner to laud an inspirational warrior-champion is a whole lot easier than marching with one.
Reading the short, eloquent essay she posted to Medium about her father's abhorrent behavior, I was stunned. Although it was no secret that Paolo Soleri had always been a guy with a roving eye, a would-be Don Juan who wanted, tried to play practically every woman he found attractive, I hadn't ever, until now, despite years of training and practical experience as a licensed Social Worker, considered the possibility that the man's lecherous fancy might include approaching and assaulting his own daughter.
I rue my lack of insight. "Shoulda, coulda, wish I hadda" doesn't rectify an egregious wrong.
Daniela was owed, at the very least, an apology from her father. Having received one from mine, I feel strongly that if you receive one, you are better off. You may even be perceived as "lucky," in the eyes of some people - a title somewhere between a curse and a blessing. If you can wear the label with humility, closeness to the divine will probably trouble you rarely, but humility mustn't be missing from your roster of wanted/needed virtues and values.
What I want to say about "It can make a difference, a sincere apology," is that the one I received was my father's gift to me. Every bit as precious as my mother's. (Perhaps it accounts for my tendency to ruminate, an unexpected benefit of my father-the-bacon-sniffer's honoring the philosopher Spinoza.)
The language of arcology, you say, has its own vocabulary of suffering? How many noun variations are there? If quantifiable, how qualified? For what purpose?
Burdens are everyone's business. No-one lives without them, but where this line of thought started was my wondering about language: If arcology is a language that's verb-based, action-statement oriented, what balances it?
My questions about that language go on and on and on:
- How is it balancing its inertial mass?
- Has it ever feared potency?
- Has it ever equated some specific action with submission?
- Has it ever questioned how unfolding happens?
Wherever we start to question the hows and whys of what's happened, the list of questions will continue infinitely in an infinite number of directions. A geometry of space and time. Balancing orders of magnitude and complexity.
Abusers are most often people who were once themselves abused. Does crediting the unknowns put marks upon us? What might those marks signify? How do we question the worshipful intimacy of coupled parents? Question what might be learned/acquired behavior?
Life's balance is as important as water. Where the oil is, in that equation, was what I supposed the arcology idea rested upon.
Otherwise, I couldn't see what Daniela's father was driving at, much less how his idea about it could be achieved.
Paolo Soleri wasn't great at questioning himself, questioning his judgement. Nor did he recognize that the need to question is a right, a right that everyone possesses. Not only did he forget to announce what questions he didn't want to be asked, for the most part, HE FORGOT TO ASK.
Men - and women, too - learn such habits. Overcoming habits takes concentrated practice. Willful practice. (Surprise!)
No doubt Daniela wasn't given an apology because her father was pretty much incapable of admitting he was wrong, no matter how obvious it might be that he was.
Canadian painter Marcia Stone and I made him let us compost the organic waste produced in the Cat Cast kitchen in 1968. Not because he agreed that his own idea about what we were doing was wrong. City guy without a shred of experience with any kind of gardening, afraid of dirt, a basic contamination phobia coupled with fear-producing hesitancy; most likely he gave in because we were adamant, plus beautiful Marcia, a whole lot taller and more stolidly built than he was, and towered over him.
The two of us ganged up on him, overwhelmed him with fact: "Boss, listen up! Composting works. It's the right thing to do. Better learn how to do it right efficiently." He wasn't enthused but he did let us compost the kitchen waste. And maybe ultimately, he did "get" that composting is where/how waste management begins, if you were really serious about "frugality" - a notion on which, he avowed, he based his entire value system. (What's not to like about composting? What's not to love?)
Cosanti Foundation recently issued a brief statement acknowledging Daniela Soleri's letter. It's a good starting point but IMO it needs considerable follow-up. If I had knee cartilage left to make it possible, I'd get down on both of mine to ask Daniela if she, and her husband, David Cleveland, could/would consider developing a master plan for a farm-to-table agricultural program at Arcosanti. Needed for decades, which just last year finally made it close to the top of Cosanti Foundation's To-Do-Now bucket list.
Professors at UCSB, their area of specialization is arid-land agriculture. They know Arizona terrain very well, including Arcosanti's. They have the experience, the resources, the insight needed to coax a comprehensive edible landscape scheme for food, fiber, an apiary, a 'water conservation for survival' strategy - whatever is needed to implement a viable sustainable agricultural plan for the site of Arcosanti. (Plus: If ever there is an opportunity for offering poetic justice, it is incumbent upon everyone to assess its value. IMO "Seizing opportunity by the forelock" might help redress a terrible not-right.)
This is surely looking to be a lot of importuning on my part. But I don't suppose it's my bum knees that will impede any affirmative reply. Subjecting myself to such scrutiny, I wonder how the idea could come to a contract: I can't personally imagine myself agreeing to consider my own proposition unless I had complete assurance that the policy decision-making authority entrusted to Cosanti Foundation will unfailingly demonstrate consultation with advisors it will accede to. That every aspect of its operations will be copiously, scrupulously documented and made available publicly. That it consider a revision of its constitution and by-laws. That it review how its Board's members are selected. That their terms of office are spelled out. That employees do not serve on its Board, as is the general rule in the world of non-profit management.
Nor need Daniela. Why should she? Among other issues, in what way does the organizational model of a "company town" - no matter how fine an idea is behind it, no matter how aesthetically exciting its manifestation - make the arcology experiment at Arcosanti (as it is currently being handled) serve as an example of a terrific investment opportunity for the multitudes?
One example: How is CraftsIII Cafe management strategy demonstrating the best possible return on one of its potentially most cooperative endeavor?
May Daniela's initiating this discussion be of benefit.