A man drove a massive dump-truck up my tough road and emptied the contents behind the Barn. The gravel will form the foundation for papercrete walls as well as some mud zone walkways, a necessity in rainy season. As I watched the truck bed rear up and rain down stones, I could not have imagined myself doing this. It isn’t that any person can’t, in the middle of their life, move on to the next fascination or to the next level of their path’s development, but this world of big vehicles and manual labor and power tools which I now inhabit is a very far cry from the delicacies of aesthetics and entertainment. Read more
Posts from the ‘Ravenrock Sanctuary’ Category
As I work on the physical plant at Ravenrock, I realize how the directive to use few machines changes the feeling of daily life. Machines are helpful but they have a strong energy and personality. Using very basic technologies is helping me feel less dependent and closer to the efforts and nature of my body. It is a strong learning. I wonder how comfortable I can be without fossil-fueled home life. There is no getting away from cars, at least not any time soon, but refrigerators, lights, stoves, showers and toilets running and flushing, can all be reconsidered. We have gotten very used to a domestic environment that zings, gushes, and shushes around us. All these require massive amounts of fuel and for this we are cooking the earth. Ravenrock is, in part, an Etude on what it feels like to step away from machines and toward the elements.
Yes, its a saga.
I began with ideas and a gorgeous, ideal architectural drawing from Dana Bixby. I sent these to five contractors in New Mexico. Two were swamped, one backed away due to conflict of interest, one is still working on an estimate two months later, and one gave me a detailed, transparent estimate which, though fair, was so far out of range that I was very, very demoralized Read more
It’s nearly New Year’s Eve. We have almost raised $6000 toward our $10,000 Match Grant. This is stupendous! So many people have given generously — some more than once — touching my heart and igniting happiness. We will soon be able to enjoy Dancemeditating at Ravenrock, in our barn with the floor the community has made possible. Read more
I am thrilled to share the brilliant news that an anonymous super angel donor will give $10,000 if it is matched by Dec 31st, 2011! Please join in and contribute to Dervish Society of America (DSA), the non-profit organization that supports Dancemeditation, right now. Your $25 becomes $50, $50 becomes $100, $500 becomes $1000… We have two weeks to meet the match. Let’s manifest the dream! Read more
Ric and I drove around to the Bill Pyles’–Volunteer Fire Chief– house in tiny Romeroville to purchase a second 1600 gallon cistern. (We already had one lurking near the barn.) It was too big too strap to our truck so Jamie hauled it the following evening once again through mud. He is good at mud driving.
According to Bill, who knows the formula, our capacious roof should be able to collect 800 gallons of water from one inch of rain or ten inches of snow melt. Terrific! My goal has been to get the catchment in place before the winter snow in the hope of harvesting enough snow melt and rain to provide for the coming needs of earth floor construction and possibly a portion of summer retreat next year.
Ric and Jamie had two hours to get a large PVC pipe, mounted below the gutter for the gutter to drain into, as well as the fittings onto the cistern before the sun set. They worked steadily as the light dropped lower and lower.
The final day on the barn is a day of finishing—edges & trims. All the doors and windows have been framed and installed except the slide doors, which lie in position on the ground at the south end, ready to be hung.
I walk around, inspecting, asking final questions about the bottom edge of the west wall which doesn’t touch the ground. Steve nods. “See it touches on the east side. The ground slopes ever-so-slightly which is why that side has a gap,” he explains. The barn is level and squared. I’ll have to seal around those edges before winter. I continue to inspect and see nothing to complain about. The barn is clean and sharp and wonderful.
They grind out their cigarette butts, heave up the first slide door, working it onto its track. Then the second. Jauny shoves them together. Thunk! He gestures to the door, like the circus lion tamer, “Fits snug as a glove!” And it does. The barn is done.
They will go now and I feel both sad and relieved. It’s been a consuming five days; I can use a digestion period. We shake hands. I give them the second half of the payment, a small tip each, a box of Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies for the ride home, and to Junay for his birthday, a set of antelope antlers I found on a hike. I wave them off and stand in stunned silence. Has this really happened, this thing that six weeks ago was phone calls and internet digging? Did I really find Wilson Pole Barn Company, research them, vet them, put in an order, transfer money from one account to another, send in the first half payment, fly out to the mesa and find the site, locate a jackhammer and a hauling tractor? Me, a dancer, who knows nothing of all this? Yes. I did. I cry as I imagine myself managing to do this, choosing it, learning it, and moving forward instead of thinking I can’t, or getting stuck, or saying that I’ll do it later.
It is a beautiful barn. A perfect barn. I feel such affection for the wonderful crew (Wilson Pole Barn specialists out of Wagoner, OK) who hammered in every nail by hand.