Thursday, July 21, 2011

Houses

I have this friend. He is my favorite former boyfriend (ok, actually, I have a few favorites). And, you know, various and sundry things have happened in his life and it ends up that he has this house/farm that is for sale and he sent me a link to the online slide show for this property. A.m.a.z.i.n.g. Beautiful. (if you know me for real and want it, I just might send you the link)

And I am so incredibly and entirely and completely unattracted to it. I appreciate it. I realize that it is shown in its best Southern Beautiful light. But it leaves me cold. Not the garden, not the barn, not the land, not the pond, but the house. I can almost always imagine living in any space. I do this quite a bit because I do think who we are and what we choose is influenced by our environment and so I imagine what living in this or that space would actually live like. And it seems very clear to me that changing your life changes your environment, isn’t that right Halcyon? I mean, have you seen her back yard? And I’m pretty sure that her attempts to change her life while maintaining a more mainstream home environment weren’t conducive to her mental health. So maybe you can see what I mean.

John Lennon had his piano pretty much right there, didn’t he? Hey Cielo, I dare you to take your piano and put it where your TV is. I love it when I can drive by and see people’s gardens, and I bet the real underlying reason for the objection to front yard food growing is about the example it sets, and the independent mindset that grows out of that. Do you really want some crappy little knick knack to be the centerpiece focus of your life? Or would you prefer to know the story of the bottles that sit in the windowsill, because there is a story even though that is obviously a screw top Miller bottle of no import.

Most houses, and all show houses, are designed to sell, not to live in. The house I grew up in was a great house in which to have guests or to throw parties, which is probably why now it is a group home. My grandparents’ house, which I LOVE – they lived in essentially two rooms of it, plus an excursion at night to the bedrooms upstairs.

So why not boil the whole thing down to really living? It makes houses a lot simpler, and a lot smaller. If I could design any house, I'd have a pitcher pump for water and a bucket toilet for that. No bedrooms per se, but sleeping areas. I have a daughter who calls one area of our house, where there are harp parts and a sewing table and horse tack and a computer for learning Japanese and this computer too and the cardboard for making shipping boxes for what we sell "the creative zone". We are not mowing maniacs. Things here are not perfect. Or neat. And perfect and neat is what everyone has in their heads.

That isn't "it". What you love is it.

2 comments:

Alcyone said...

Um, yeah. It wasn't until I started to change my LIFE that my sanity started to come back. In changing my life my living environment shifted dramatically. It's funny, my dad is coming to pick up my daughter to take her to Vermont for the week. He'll be arriving this weekend. He is going to be appalled at the state of the inside of the house because to him that is what defines stability. It is a wreckage of dog hair and the accumulation of the week that doesn't matter all that much. As I was wandering about the backyard (that matters entirely) this morning making sure the chickens were going to have enough water to get through a 100+ degree day and looking at the corn and the tomatoes and wondering, should I carry a few more buckets of water (because I haven't fixed the plumbing yet) I was thinking to myself, self, you've been building chicken coops and planting and nurturing food while you're not inside the really cool bubble at work where you earn the $$$ to pay the mortgage on your real life. And I figured he'd either understand some day or he would not. I don't fret so much about that anymore though and THAT is one of the biggest changes.

CG said...

I know that this thing wasn't a complete thought (or the last post either) but I'm interested. Mostly I just don't let people come here.