The Home I will Likely Never Build: the North Side

I know I told you last time that I couldn’t wait to tell you about what is downstairs, but I want to take a brief side trip first. We came in through the garden on the south side of the house (there’s probably a small cemetery tucked behind some trees; that’s where you’ll find me soon enough), and I’ve shown you how a home built of earth embraces the sun.

This is at its very core a home that celebrates craft, and the hands that built it. The first thing you saw on your visit was ironwork made by a human being. The signs of humanity are all around you now, and everywhere, if you look closely, you will see the personal marks of the people who built this home, whether by stacking adobe bricks or programming the elevator. The tiles in the bathrooms reflect the minds of the people who created them.

I hope, of course, that this will inspire the residents of the home to create their own art. This home is inspirational, or at least aspires to be. On the north side of the home is the less glamorous, less cozy space where actual magic happens.

I imagine it is a large space, perhaps physically separated from the main building. The floor is open and the light is from the north, coming in through large windows that can be blacked when necessary.

This might be the first structure built, to provide the space and means for the artisans and craftspeople to build the main home.

It smells like clay in here, like paint, like sawdust. The kiln, in its corner, is perhaps the only tool with a fixed location. One day the wood shop might be deployed, the tools needed for that day rolled out and carefully leveled, while on other days it might be the potters wheel or the bench for the glass blowers.

OK, the kiln, the glass furnace, and the forge for iron work are probably all fixed. But on any particular Tuesday this might be a photo studio, or a robotics lab. I delight in the fantasy that we, the residents of this home, will ultimately decide that we need two studio spaces.

There is also, on this side of the house, a very large vegetable garden. Unlike the sanctuary enclosed within the walls on the south, this garden grows food and is based on two principles: 1) we are obligated to make the most of the waste water from the house, and 2) tomatoes are best when eaten within minutes of harvest. That goes for other vegetables as well, but tomatoes are the poster child of “better fresh-picked”.

Space allowing, a modest orchard seems like a good idea as well.

In a previous episode I flew past the kitchen, which is essentially a studio with tools devoted to the medium of food. I am flying past it once again, because I have nothing to offer in that place except vibes. Kitchen science is real, and while I embrace it, I am not going to extend it, except for the hand-crafted cabinets.

The home — our home — is not just filled with the work of artists and artisans, it is where those people live. Where we live. Writers, painters, architects, musicians, and on and on. This is where we celebrate the accomplishments of our peers while we challenge one another. The studio here is never empty, there’s always something going on in the kitchen, and the garden is well-loved.

That last sentence reveals the depth of this fantasy, but understand: I believe it.