As a child Boris had spent hours constructing elaborate ‘houses’ out of playing cards. He slipped cards into the pages of books to provide sound footings, and proceeded to build elegant cantilevered arches that spanned across the dining room table. His love of delicate and refined structures – “like the bones of a bird”, and his natural affinity for mathematics and engineering put him in a select group of top students at the Odessa State Academy of Construction and Architecture.
In a moment of drunken bravado, Boris confessed to being the baby in the pram in Sergei Eisenstein’s movie, Battleship Potemkin. After a stunned silence the entire bar burst into laughter – first at the outrageous claim, and second at Boris’s embarrassing political naivety. His colleagues teased and taunted him mercilessly for weeks. His protests about just being a baby, and how his mother had allowed him to be filmed because she had known Eisenstein fell on deaf ears.
Stung by the hurtful comments, Boris’s heart could find no rest in the previous havens of beautiful and elegant structures. To him they had become a kind of blasphemy. As his heart darkened, he found creative inspiration in African termite towers. Thick stucco over brick walls, tiny windows, tiled finishes inside and out. Functional. Standardised. Godless. Man as an insect, a living machine. An inspirational example of collective behaviour. He found favour with the new leadership, and he forgot all that he had ever been.
06. Every day you make choices.
25. Every day your light shines for others to see.
43. Every day accept you will make mistakes. Learn from them. They are opportunities in disguise.