Chicks in the computer room
My dad was an architect. And we had these conversations which did not quite connect. I was very excited about multi-use buildings, where living spaces and work spaces and play spaces were integrated. He was unexcited about this idea. And he had lived in Welwyn Garden City in the UK, where you could have these functions all on a connected second floor. Despite the fact he had also studied the new towns movement there, which integrated park areas with existing historic town cores.
When i thought about this i never considered the level to which the place i would ultimately live – Twin Oaks, would take this.
Hawina and Willow have a suite in Morningstar (i temporarily have a room in Ta Chai, but will be ghosting again soon). As with all the buildings, there are some collective functions other than housing in this residence. Morningstar (conveniently abbreviated M*) has part of our collective library, the weight room and a public computer room. The other day as i was walking by the computer room, there was a neat note on the door asking people not to pet the significant number of chicks which were in the room. The kids were very excited about the chicks and regularly want to look at them and pick them up with a poultry area persons supervision.
Similarly, ornamental flower seedlings show up in our windowsill at M* and people will work on laptops or do hand rope work in the common space. For most people, lives are divided by work and domestic and with the exception of a rude phone call at off hours, these things are kept largely separate. Here we are more interwoven. People will often chat about work at night. Shal and i oft discuss the hammocks business while climbing trees under the full moon light. But before you think this is oppressive, in all the jobs i have ever had, these are the easiest to request space from, even if you have major responsibilities.
i wished i had gotten a chance to show off this integrated village to my dad more. He was impressed by the hammocks business and our industrial park. But what is really impressive and a bit harder to see, is that there is a type of integrated yet flexible lifestyle which is happening here, which makes this place succeed in a culturally rich way.
“climbing trees under the full moonlight” sounds like something I would have attempted in my younger days. I had a similar experience last night. At 11 pm my neighbors were being too noisy. So I packed up my backpack and made the one hour drive to Bake Oven Knob on the Appalachian Trail. I hiked north for about an hour over piles of boulders the size of cows with only the light of a head lamp before reaching the spot where I camped. I was asleep in my tent by 3 am. I had found the quiet I was looking for and sleept very well.