post september vision quest

i have been feeling particularly anxious while running errand this morning so i took a hot bath. the forest-land meme is still strong in my head. a casual browsing of land plots ebay last weekend was encouraging but by no means certain.

i tried to imagine what would happen during september and the months that followed if i were to fully pursue this idea.

sep 2007 - search ebay in detail and possibly other similar resources. start driving out to plots to visit them. talk with county government offices about building, natural building, a solar panel field, government plants for electricity and water build-out.

the size of the lot has a huge impact on what is possible. 2 acres minimum. a main house. a labratory building, an observatory, food field, bamboo field. 5-10 acres - a recurring idea is to hold outdoor hack-fest events. a bit weird but foocamp/barcamp does it for short periods of time. this would be a stay as long as you want camp, with semi-permanent buildings that house creativity areas to design and write code in.

then an idea hit me - a school. an outdoor school. thats more like 20-50 acres. thats a ranch and whole different way of living. but it involves people. it also takes way more money than i have. philanthropic institutions might be interested.

back to the house. the architecture of most of the structures will be circular. people live in cubes. 90 degree corners. the sharpest angle possible. what i love about cob is having rounded corners everywhere. soft and yielding. im not sure if the structure could be all cob so i expect to have a sturdy frame and build on that. i thought about materials and concluded that bamboo has very desirable properties. thats something i can say i learned from my time at the lighthouse - seeing the bamboo patch and the amazing sturdiness of the poles and the amazing growth rate of the plant. a match made in heaven. bamboo will probably be the frame as well as the flooring. a very inspiring example is the simondale house.

then i thought about the fact that im in a house that is well constructed, water-tight, very sturdy. am i trying to reproduce what i already have? its also a dark box with windows on only one side, covered in toxic paint, and i cant make any changes to it. its also surrounded by other buildings and noisy cars.

i have a notebook from maybe 3 years ago where i keep plans of a 'hobbit cottage'. while at CTI i made maps of a 5 acre plot and imagined where buildings would go and what their purpose would be.

october 2007 - the house is purchased. im on an empty lot with a tent, sleeping bag, camp stove, tarp, a shovel, not enough food, too cold most nights, and very lonely. after digging in the dirt for two weeks, i get tired of the idea, and go back into town where there are people and restaurants.

OR by some miracle a livable place gets built and during the process different people come to help out and by November I'm living inside the house. By myself. In the woods. The camping novelty has worn off. I have no internet connection for my laptop. I'm bored, alone, and going crazy thinking what am i doing here? why am i living like a hermit? in the great search for meaning, other people are the most powerful source for it. unfortunately, i have a social phobia of some sort that makes it very difficult to form new bonds in most situations.

these ebay plots are in the actual boonies. not like a small town but 50 or 100 miles away from a small town.