Ya, I’ve begun this with an incorrectly spelled expletive but I think we can all handle that. Let’s just begin…
When I was younger I thought that owning anything was akin to being sent to prison. I thought that it seemed horrible. Tied to something!? Absolutely not! Not I. I would rent, I would squat, I would couch surf but never would I purchase something.
That is until I moved to California. Here on the west coast is where I finally grew into someone who could see that this whole ownership thing might actually have some even more freeing elements to it. It began ten years ago looking at land in the desert and being really excited about the idea that I could stand on a piece of dirt and nobody could tell me to go away. Oh, the things one could do on a piece of dirt far from anyone who really cares about what you are doing! I’ve always been a big fan of living simply, getting weird and living as art. This all seemed like things that were possible in new ways if I had something that was just mine.
Ten years after looking at those scruffy little plots of land in the Mojave I decided I’d had enough of dreaming. I started investigating, drawing up budgets and asking everyone I knew questions. I kept thinking someone would tell me I was insane but instead I got the opposite reaction, which I need to say, was almost more nerve-wracking. I dragged friends into the desert and showed them the most remote places down the bumpiest dirt roads into locations that didn’t just not have cell service but had NO services of any kind. And they thought it was awesome. Perhaps this is the company I keep, but I trust my company with my life… so off I went. I rented a hotel room in the desert, called a local real estate office and told them I wanted to buy something. I literally did not know what I was doing. I looked at so many properties. I poked my head into abandoned houses and fled when I realized it was filled with bees. I got chased by attack dogs. Looked at houses with no running water or indoor plumbing. I looked at houses with addresses so hard to find you had to use Google Earth to see if you were even getting close. Then, one evening, I drove down a dirt road towards the last address on my list and there it was. I didn’t even need to go inside. I wanted it. I felt like I already owned it and that felt crazy.
The next day when I finally got inside it was like I could see what it had the potential to become. A home. A retreat. A spiritual center. A place for artists and creative brains to expand as wide as the horizon. A project. A creation that I could work on building with my own hands for as long as I wanted.
So I did it. And now my next project looms before me and I’m open and excited and only a little bit scared. This post is important to me because it connects directly to my May post about creating a life that IS art. I also want to alert you that I’ll likely be sharing a lot about this over the next year (at least) so buckle up. Things are about to get dusty.