March, 2005:
... and build her a house

If we save things (and do I ever!), remodeling and building bring us face to face with numerous objects from our past - objects which often we thought that we'd thrown away long ago. But it's not only stored away objects which we encounter. We find ourselves facing the gradual changes that have taken place in our lives -changes that may, taken individually, be small and insignificant, but as a group, over extended periods of time, point to very real transformations in our lives.

Thirty years ago I was fascinated with the possibilities of geodesic domes. This fascination wasn't only with the engineering aspects of these domes, but also, and perhaps predominantly, with the lifestyle choices which they seemed to embody.

This geodesic model - constructed from a sort of tinker-toy building set, was on display on a shelf in all of the rooms I've lived in until our present house. For me it was a reminder - one day I'd build, and live in, something like that. Actually, I'm quite sure that I never truly expected to realize that goal, but it represented for me an attitude, a perspective, which I tried to maintain.

That attitude was part of a worldview that today might be called anti-globalization. It was an attempt to resist the ever-inviting lure of accepting, perhaps capitulating to, what might be called "middle-class values".
Those values, and the ongoing struggle to resist them, were perhaps best exemplified in a poem by Diane Di Prima - a poem that I knew I had copied out in longhand somewhere, but only found again as we remodeled.

We've lived in our home since it was built - fifteen years ago. Only now, however, as two walls were removed, and others had to be broken for new wiring, did I discover that I wasn't the only one archiving things. During the building process the house was doing this as well.

through all these changes I found myself asking an additional question. As I've noted previously (and often) the sentimental value of the items that I save often develops with time. Our lengthy (much too lengthy) period of remodeling - visibly reaching it's end, but still, as of this writing, not complete - isn't something I'm going to quickly forget. Do I want to save mementos of it as well?

  To: A Digitized Life - main page