So, what do Dragons have to do with Tiny Houses? And why am I calling my tiny house bitty dragon?
Honestly, I’m a little too introverted to be a blogger. But here I am because I have a story to share. (Ironically, I think dragons are a little introverted too. That is why they breathe fire when you get too close by. )
I was born on the first day of the fire dragon in 1976, and been riding those crazy and unpredictable impulses of life every since. I really claimed myself as a dragon when I was 26 and my friend LOMO started calling me little dragon (she was big dragon), born 12 years before me and as wildly passionate and unpredictable as I felt, sometimes underneath thick “inherited” human skins.
She recently got back in touch with me after a number of years, just days after I decided to build a tiny house.
Ten years ago, at 26, she gave me a little apartment on the lower east side for a week for my birthday. I sat there in retreat, in the midst of the hustle bustle of lower manhattan. I had never been on retreat, but something in me told me to go on retreat so I did. The apartment had a little tiny stove and a miniature cast iron tub with claw feet and a bed that just fit into the bedroom. (it was a tiny house). Lomo gave me her homemade stuffed animals for company and other than that, I didn’t really talk to anyone but myself for that week.
Which I did quite literally. I took on the project of reading through all my old journals and as I did, I sat with those old parts and pieces of myself. Not an easy task. I didn’t really know how to be emotional then either, but somehow those days in that apartment were the very beginnings of uncovering the passion living underneath my grief living underneath my numbness. The grief of a 13 year old without a mother (or a father really), a bulimic teenager, a dis-embodied sexually confused young women. I didn’t have any of those words then, but I still sat with each and every one of them. Practicing some kind of tonglen (loving kindness) meditation for myself, even though I had no idea any such thing existed.
And I found there was wisdom there, in creating space. That I knew how to be with myself. I planted that seed. All in that tiny house. (it’s hard to run away from yourself in a tiny house)
So fast forward, 10 years, 3 communities, 2 significant life partners, a spiritual crisis, three years of intentional healing, many gardens, going back to school, graduating, a business of my own, and a lot more that happens in the minute details of every day life.
I am still a dragon. A little more awake and a little more wild and feet a little more on the ground. I’m relentlessly passionate about my ideals. I stand my ground and am stubborn in ways that often serve me and others, and sometimes don’t. I’m generally pretty lucky and trust the signs that life puts in my path. I dream BIG of simplicity.
A tiny house is my latest dream of how to inhabit this world in a more sane way, to follow my gypsy and communal impulses, and to create a small space that inspires my imagination and joy daily. I know I am not alone in this dream (as so many of these blogs have been read by my own eyes. Thank you for inspiring me with your words).
Tiny houses live at the edge of our cultural dream—in the fertile and free zones. They are the rebellious stepchildren of too much linoleum, too many strip malls, illusions of stability created on top of material insanity, loans that can never be made up, and the privileges of cerebral intelligence over embodied grace.
Tiny houses live in the same world as dragons (and likely other beings, like hobbits and elves too). They are not tied down by cement foundations, mortgages, a grid. They are free to wander, but they are safe and protected (and cozy too.) They are whimsical. They are intelligent. They encourage you to wander outside your neighborhood, out in the woods, to go and try something new, to have a home but not stay home all the time, to minimize what you have and know you have all you need, and to truly inhabit the material world with respect, discernment, and wonder. They encourage you to learn how to “be with yourself”.
For those of you who have fallen in love with the dream of tiny houses (those who have built one, are in the process of it, or simply yearning to do so) will understand that these little dwellings touch a place in the imagination that is quite different from the “bigger is better” world we inhabit right now. As any good story needs a good beginning, and this is mine. Or at least a perceived beginning. The place at which this teller begins the tale. Bitty Dragon is my bitty story of dreaming a bitty house into being.
Stay tuned for my adventures. By the way, I have really very little building experience at all, so hats off to right on the spot learning, my ingenious and generous community, and the whimsy and luck of “doing it anyway”. Hopefully, this will inspire you in some way, as I have been inspired.