|Clouds parting over Chirimoyal.|
Resilience. Flexibility. Courage. Faith.
Where do the engines of the human soul find their fuel? What is the strange sustenance that will-power and spirit provide? Out of what material does perseverance manifest?
|A beautiful, bug-free view.|
The fruit of labour on Chirimoyal.
I drew my cup from my family. I aspired toward the dignity of endurance that Hannah Arendt wrote of in "On Revolution." Life is difficult: problems arise like waves on the seashore. Living, one must come to understand, is not in avoiding or worrying about the inevitable problems -- rather, to confront the problem of living is the basis of all human labour. The exertion of labour is the first act of happiness; the rejuvenation that would follow is the second act. Happiness itself is like the theatre crowd: when the show ends it begins to leave. This is the simple nature of happiness that is yet so difficult to enjoy, and impossible to hold in one's hand.
|Necessary to build for our necessities.|
To be happy I chose to build again: I chose the process, not the product. The great need I felt then to see my work through to its construction was a desire to see a completed process, not a desire to construct a certain structure. This much I had learned from the first attempt.
I might choose to build again, though I could not choose to return to our earlier situation. The tide swelled: our budget dwindled, our visa period had a definite, approaching end and our family beckoned us to a "traditional" life with worried words. Our project had roots in a deeper, older tradition.
The practical points of rebuilding desperately needed our focus.
The next several posts will break these points down and cover them one-by-one. Expect short articles on:
- clearing and preparing a site
- levelling a site
- transferring a design to the ground
- digging and filling the foundation trenches
- stacking a stone stem-wall
- pouring an adobe floor
- finding and preparing the right cob mix
- machine mixing large quantities of cob
- the need to adapt a cob work-process to specific climates
- collecting materials ahead of time
- what to do when you can't achieve your goal: flexibility & improvisation in natural building
- putting up a roof
- the unforeseen uses of a structure
- natural building and community
- If you build it, they will come...
- ...and more...
|The last sun rays|
stretch and scatter
the valley night.