The West Coast of the US is the crucible of new ideas about virtuality and I wanted to be there. What began as a progressive technology has also become a progressive philosophy. I wanted to feel the heat of that thinking.
Several of my books have featured scenes or items that were invented at the time but later appeared to come into reality. In this case, the above paragraph was simply an exposition of my thinking about California. And yet in April 2004 I found myself signing up for a workshop at Esalen, my first, and of all the topics I might have chosen, I decided on Bronze Casting, simply because it was so far from my usual experience.
And here, without any planning or expectation, I found myself experiencing my first crucible. We built a firepit
and placed inside it a crucible filled with bronze, to be melted and poured into the casts we had made. Unexpectedly, I was working with a crucible, and as we sat around the fire together that night, high up on the cliffs in Big Sur, listening to the crackle of the burning wood and the boom of the Pacific waves below us, I certainly felt the heat.