Sunday, September 6, 2009

Random Thoughts on the First Sunday Morning in September

I want to live in a glass house. Have you seen the Philip Johnson House in New Canaan, CT ? It's sort of a prototype. It appears, from the photo I saw in a magazine, that the bathroom is circular and in the middle. That's good. The enclosed walls part. I was wondering about that. Waaaay different than how I was brought up. And, no, that photo is not of the glass house, obviously. Keep reading.

Which brings me to a friend, who is into permaculture and living off the grid. He built his own earthship, similar to and based on the earthship community up in Taos, which he participated in several years ago. He came back home and built his own, along with a whole new way of life, of being, in this world. It's actually very much like the old days, except it's not.

I've eaten apple cobbler he cooked in his solar oven, which he built himself. I've eaten salad from his gardens, and chocolate truffles he made that must be the original Death By Chocolate. I have a notepad that says, "Inside me is a thin woman screaming to get out. I can usually keep the bitch quiet with chocolate." So far, so good.

Anyway, my friend also has a sawdust composting toilet. He uses the composted material, shall we say, to feed his landscape. You heard me. This is not the first time I've heard of this method. The first time I became aware of it, I thought, 'I don't think so...' but I have deep respect for him and his way of showing respect for Mother Earth. It's not unlike how I grew up, outhouse being the chief place for our toilette. We had one until I was about ten. I thought everybody did. This was my first form of denial. NOBODY else had one. We were the last of our breed, shall we say.

We finally got an indoor one when Dad decided to turn the walk-in closet into a bathroom. That's right. We had a walk-in closet with wood floors, but no inside biffy. The first thing we did, hooligans that we were, was swing on the shower bar. It came down, of course, and everybody scattered. I was the last one out of the bathroom, so I got the hairbrush wielded by Mom, swiftly, and just once mind you, as I was on the run.

Which brings me to Annie Leibovitz. No, it doesn't really, but I wanna talk about her. What's up with this woman of amazing photographs? She obviously has is-yews. That and poor money management skills. Is she still mourning Susan Sontag, her long-time companion? Or has she always "lived beyond her means." And how does one live beyond their means when they make, and are worth, millions of dollars? Well, in Annie's case, you buy lots of houses, expensive ones. You use other people's photographs and claim them as your own, according to one Italian man who is none too happy with her and has joined the ranks of the sue-er's. And you forget to pay tribute to Caesar. Like that. Sheesh, Annie. Get it together and come back out on top. Nobody takes people pictures like you.

More randomness:

I want to visit the Frank Loyd Wright house, Fallingwater, in Bear Run, PA. It looks pretty cool from the photo, sitting on a waterfall and all. I wonder if it creates problems with sleeping or makes it better?

I want to drive Route 220, The Road to Altoona, and recreate a photo, taken in the early '70's that an artist friend shot and used as a reference for the painting of same last winter. I watched him paint it. Quite a treat. Now I have the first print of it. It's a beauty, with a tinge of nostalgia. It also reminds me of "Milk," one of my favorite movies. Sean Penn, as Milk, is talking into his recorder near the end of the movie and talks about a young man from Altoona, PA. who is afraid to "come out" to his parents. I hope that young man became someone who found life to be a wonderful place, in which he could be his truest self.

Robin Wright Penn, Sean's wife, has filed for divorce. She means to make it stick this time. She said she pulls off the road to cry too often. That's sad. I've been a fan of both for some time. One of my favorite movie lines is from Forrest Gump, when Robin, as Jenny, goes back to her old house with Forrest and they start throwing rocks at the house. She sits down on the ground, crying, and he says, "Sometimes there just aren't enough rocks." Her decision says, rather poignantly, that money can't buy happiness, and neither can marriage to Sean Penn. There goes another fantasy. It doesn't make either a bad person. It just makes them people.

Well, next time, I am going to talk more about outhouses, probably, 'cause I have a friend who has a beauty. I'm just tellin' you, in case you want to do something else with your time.

'Til then...

BTW: I attached a photo of "Road to Altoona," buy Murad Sayen (I'm going to leave that. I kinda like the implications).You can acquire it through Mastcove Gallery in Kennebunkport, Maine. Pleeease, someone buy it, so I'm not tempted to, and thus live beyond my means.

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