Spencer here: Yes, we are still documenting our tiny house-capades. The house is a really fun, cozy space, and it is beautiful to witness what my beau and I can create together. This week we focused on some of the details. We installed a folding writing desk, made curtains, a shoe rack and put up some trim on the inside. Everything will eventually have its place and we are slowly figuring it out. The futon we bought is working out well. The heating source we are using, (a small cube heater) will soon be replaced by the quaintest wood stove I have ever had the pleasure of being in the company of. Our wonderful friends and roommates picked it up for us as a literal house-warming present. One, nice, rain-free day we will acquire the pipe and install the stove. The fuel will come from all the little wood chunks left over from our construction project, (there is a lot!) After that, I am assuming we will continue to have construction chunks, because our next project is to convert the shed next door to an art/yoga/music house. Free stuff found on Craigslist continues to flow in–thank you so much friends!
I am excited thinking about new projects. We are busy here, but as Billy mentioned last night, there is a productive contagiousness that happens. I am focusing on paying bills, finding a job that has a little more meaning, and making ends meet, however, I cannot forget what gives me joy. I think fixing up the shed to make room for art will feel meaningful and be a nice addition to the property. I am also looking forward to expanding my ideas of an art show in the spring. I am considering the type of show which would incorporate all my interests. I thought including “one of everything” would be a nice way to encompass the depth of my thinking about a particular theme. I am still brain-storming said theme, but want to create pieces in many mediums for the show–painting on wood, drawing on paper, sewing into paintings on fabric, a nature sculpture, photography, a music piece on the drums, a short film and some stencil/screen-printing work to name a few! Right now I am very interested in the work of Zack Pine, Andy Goldsworthy, and Katie Holten.
Billy here. We have been sleeping better as we are getting settled, keeping the moonlight and cold away from our eyes and bones. I am working the logistics of getting a real upright piano again. Also, I have been gathering data for making next year’s astronomy calendar. Every night that it is clear, I make note of the night sky. This brings me happiness!
There are the sounds of constant traffic from the highway just behind everything, like an ocean tide: the brash cry of the rooster, the caws of crows, a few peeps of the smaller birds, but mostly this wash of automobile. An airplane or the icy whine of a machine adds to the fervor of the tide at times. This is impermanent, I think to myself, the huge nest humanity has built in the valleys – and of course! All of it is impermanent. Living in the city. Our lives. We are all just witnessing the orchestra of it. The reedy calls of the crows, the beeping of reversing trucks, the bus brakes, the starting of cars, these are all little motifs in the underpinning of the symphony today. Every so often a great diesel labors or a helicopter, creating a Wagnerian brass section. The leaf blower comes in like a french horn, the rooster an almost naive trumpet. One brisk dog bark is a sudden violin stab. How much time do we have to make music?
Sometimes I feel lazy, like I could just play the toy piano all day and make up songs instead of working. I could make bread and beer, toasting to life. But there are winter errands to attend. The cave must be outfitted. Domestication is such a sweet hibernation. We are softened so comfortably by this agriculture we have been working on for the last 10,000 years.
When I saw the first light of the sun this morning hit the trees, I saw my shadow and thought it was the tail of the cat! Sometimes I notice a shadow of something moving in what I swear is the spirit world, as when we remember a dream or déjà vu comes over us, but the practice is to know the specters of your own mind and how to tell the difference between them and the outside world. Then sometimes too, the shadows belong to material, waking things that our mind displaced.
The mind plays tricks on itself. I think I am working by making money, planning my budget and pointing at some branch in the future, thinking: “Ah ha! There! That is where I will begin to be happy!” Then I laugh at myself. Because we all know better. Sometimes I feel lost in the human artifice of capital. What is all the running around for, other than to make another lap around the track? The sheer joy of it. This is what makes something drudgery or livelihood. It’s not so much that work is love made visible, but that work disappears and becomes livelihood when it is something aligned with our hearts. Livelihood doesn’t mean piles of money, but sustenance of the body, heart and soul.
Maybe playing the toy piano all day is what I am supposed to be doing after all…
Different trees grow various heights and then perish and evolve into another species.
They reach their limbs – their souls – a little deeper into incandescence’s well
and then tell the world by their marvelous appearance what that life is like.
Yes, try to do that before you part this wondrous place we are visiting;
bring us some good tidings of silence beyond any silence you have already heard.