Send a note to Tal:
El Castillo #201
250 East Alameda
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Tal Streeter: 1934-2014
A heavy heart brings sad news. Tal Streeter passed away this afternoon in
Santa Fe after another recent stroke last week. He was in deep sleep mode
most of this week and was just coming out of it and starting to speak
today. Apparently his last words were... "Higher and higher"...
We'll all miss Tal. I had a long friendship with him since 1977 when I
wrote a fan letter to him after reading his book "The Art of the Japanese
Kite". The friendship continued through the years sharing ideas on sky
art, kites and sculpture, his favorite topics of conversation beside his
vast curiosity that was evident through conversations, his writings and
with anyone who could ride with his poetic mind. I enjoyed spending time
with him during many kite festival trips around the world and musing on
many topics on which Tal could dance like a butterfly.
Since his major ischemic stroke in February 2011 that affected his right
hemisphere he has been in the care of his family, nurses and friends. He
was still very much within the realm of his own creative imagination and
continued to dream.
He was involved in some pretty remarkable projects and helped by his wife,
Dorothy Ann Streeter (Romig) and long time friends, David Wagner and his
wife Fiona Wong to create the Dream of Flight Museum and Library in Santa
Fe, New Mexico. The library and museum is supported by the his "Friends of
the Sky Foundation". It is now nearing completion and will soon house an
extensive library of Tal's works, his vast collection of kites, writings
and sculpture projects.
I'll include a writing of Tal's here about...
The Path of Least Resistance and the Trick
by Tal Streeter
In the sky, among the clouds. A kite at rest. Still. A child's kite. On
the ground, a child holding the kite string tightly, eyes turned upward,
scanning the sky, the kite's place there.
A kite, any kite, but now this kite, this child's kite in the sky
unmoving. A point of stillness in the vast heavens. "Stillness:" something
even the masters of flight, our fine feathered friends with their
rapturous, unparalleled airborne pyrotechnics, find difficult to achieve.
Only a slight ripple on the kite's paper skin, a sign of the wind's
breath, holds the kite aloft. This kite, its long thin line of string
stretching back down to earth, gripped tightly in the child's hand, in the
child's mind, imagining the wind's breath, perched there, riding on the
kite's back, looking down, wide-eyed at the fabulously new perspective,
astride a kite, reaching out to embrace the earth.
In the child's mind, the kite and its passenger a still point far off in
Clouds drawing slowly closer. the kite leans to the left, dipping, its
passenger holding on tight, it speeds across the heavens, then comes back
to rest once again, a still point in the ocean sky.
The wind once again breathing lightly, rippling the kite's skin and that
of the child, holding them aloft ever so gently.
Below, infinitely small, a child shakes the string, sending messages from
the earth up to its twin and from there, passed on out through the distant
A child's imagination notwithstanding, the kite follows the path chosen by
nature, pulling from an arc into a straight line, tracing the path of
least resistance, tracking the paths laid down by ocean currents and
smaller tributaries of air. The excess and frugality of nature, at once
frighteningly excessive and spare: the child's kite, perchance on the side
of the spare, on the side of conservation of energy as in science, as in
philosophy, the evidence of "Ockham's razor," the law of parsimony," the
"path of least resistance:"
The evidence of stillness described by science, governed by the "law of
A child---in their imagination, riding on the back of a kite; on the
earth, running across a meadow, jumping over weeds and imaginary
obstacles; hopping, one foot on a curb, the other in the gutter of a city
street; at the kitchen table eating a piece of toast---not by the laws of
man's physics; not by laws at all; seeing everything fresh, as if by
magic, the way of nature, the simplicity of kites in the newness of a
child's mind: kites, the sky, hopping, skipping and breakfast toast. All
magic. All enchantment.
There's the trick.
"The sky begins at your feet" ... "higher and higher"
Best winds to you, Tal!
George Peters, Airworks Studio, April 17, 2014
"He was our beacon in the fog…" - Ali Fujino, Drachen Foundation
“This is very sad. Tal was a unique and wonderful man -- followed his own
path and his own train of thought. His work, particularly the Art of the
Japanese Kite, was so very important to kite-makers around the world. I
was lucky to discover a copy of the book in the tiny art library at the
Kansas City Art Institute when I was a student, and luckier still to know
Tal and work with him on several projects. His childlike imagination and
deep curiosity produced a remarkable body of artwork." - Stuart Allen,
“A sad moment indeed. A man I met in India, early in my journey to the
world of floating objects... He impressed me with his love of kites and
his quest to make an impact in the world of flying art. Tal, like the
recent loss of other friends of the wind, is making the sky a bigger place
to fill... I for one remain committed to follow in their footsteps and
their quest to fill the sky from my feet forever 'higher and higher' into
the sky!!!" - Jose Sainz, Drachen Foundation
“Tal was truly one of the finest. May he fly high.” - Ajay Prakash, India
If you'd like to leave condolences, stories, and messages for Tal's
family, please go to Tal's Butterfly Blog at http://talsbutterflyblog.blogspot.com.
The blog is managed by Tal's daughter Lissa and wife Dorothy Ann Streeter
(Romig) and includes many stories from Tal's life the last three years.
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