Monday, March 28, 2011

dream nests

Here, dear friends, are a handful of the houses where I could happily live out my life in a glory, a wealth, an abundance of sex 'n' art 'n' sunshine. I mean, who doesn't dream of treehouses and hobbit-holes who dreams of warmth and comfort and a sense of home? Almost nobody actually goes out and lives in one, it's true. But this magical spiral-ceilinged cottage was built by ordinary people who say fiercely and with great certainty: you, too, can have this -- and for almost nothing in comparison to a "real" house. They built this marvel for three thousand pounds, apparently -- that's a little under four months of rent on the apartment I have now. The land is borrowed, but with savings like that, why, I could almost buy a couple acres...

As it turns out, the most beautiful houses are also often the most environmentally friendly -- for example, the woodland home above is made of dead wood and straw bales, and straw bales make up most of this exquisite little cob house, which is so unbelievably beautiful and warm and welcoming that it makes me feel a little weepy. And all this for once more almost nothing -- the figure I read said about $6,000. That's less than a hundredth of what a family friend sold his one-bedroom in San Francisco for five years ago, and what you get is not only a home but a singular, handcrafted work of art. Imagine raising kids in these homes (the folks who built the cottage above have two kids who were delighted to help with the building): they would grow up bathed in the radiance of  craftsmanship; environmental responsibility would be taken for granted; and above all, they'd have total faith in the peculiar and dangerous possibility of making a life wholly and truly according to your own spiritual, intellectual and aesthetic values. Yikes. (And just in case you weren't already totally in love, here's a video!)

And who doesn't daydream of a treehouse? I found this beautiful thing somewhere in the depths of the internet; I have no idea who built it or where it is, but I want it desperately. For all I know it isn't even real, just somebody's digital daydream -- but whoever has reveries like that can be my friend, no questions asked. To live in a house that is a manifestation of a joyous and inhabitable creativity is just about the greatest and most potent hunger of my life. I've been dreaming of magical dwellings since the age of eight or nine, when I first discovered Julia Morgan (I've already rhapsodized here on one of her buildings, the Chapel of the Chimes). This summer's project is to build my little downtown apartment into one lovely beehive of the marvelous, the first step to claiming this embodiment. Anyone else who is working on making inhabitable art, sacred spaces, magical nests or dream gardens, talk to me. I'd like to add your reveries to my language of the imaginable.

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