Wednesday, April 18, 2007

i haven't spent a quiet morning at home in a long while, so it's very peaceful to sit here, drinking coffee, feeling a cool breeze. the sky is overcast outside, but now that we have heat again it doesn't feel quite so ominous.

between the shootings monday and the roads closed due to the raritan river rising and rising (right behind our complex, although we are on a bluff) we were starting to feel a little spooked. add to that no heat or hot water because of flooding in our basement.

but things are back to a semblance of normal, for now. the jade plants are happy that i remembered to raise the blinds for them. just that tiny ritual of caring for two lovely little beings gives me joy.

yesterday the textbook on carpentry (for the vocational building class) arrived in the mail. it's huge, and packed with information.

the day before, my new contract for 07-08 arrived in the mail. it's sad to look at the number of dollars i'll be turning down if i don't sign it. still, my dreams are of houses.


i think there is a common thread running through my love of mathematics, of philosophy/religion, and now of building. there is a large cluster of rules--somewhat intimidating, tangled, and unnecessarily complex. and like a closet filled with some treasures and some junk and desperately in need of sorting, this body of rules draws me. i want to pull it all apart and understand each piece. then, armed with that knowledge, i want to strip the whole thing down to its essentials, so that what was complicated, ugly, and intimidating becomes simple, elegant, and accessible.

the first time i looked at a book explaining how to build a house, i was overwhelmed with the complexity. i was almost turned off. but slowly i'm growing in the hope that it can be done more simply and naturally. i'm learning which systems can be eliminated, and which are essentials.

this is a joyful process! (just as the process of simplifying my religious/philosophical views filled me with a sense of freedom and hope.) of course, there is an inherent arrogance in looking at a system and saying, "i can do it better." and that's before i know anything about it. well, at least i admit it.

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