The MYTH and MAGIC of Going Tiny
About Myths: Myths are stories that we relate to in some way that make us bigger than ourselves. When we create a union with another human being, have a child, create a community intentionally, experience a death, or build a home….we connect with a larger field of what humans have done for a good long time. We connect to some fleeting imagination, a memory, a sense of being those same heros (or villains or victims) in our own lives. It’s really important to acknowledge these rites of passage. However, in modern life, these myths seem to get watered down by the complications of ever needing to buy more to find satisfaction/safety/comfort (the bigger house, the bigger wedding, a dangerously high cesarean rate).
In my own life, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get more to the essence of these myths. To find my own way back to something that I can feel running through my body. Something that cannot be bought, but rather comes through in those moments when we’ve let go of so much that we become raw and real. And we know without a doubt that we belong to something bigger and older. Ironic, that many modern people do not feel that they belong to anything. I’ve certainly felt that way in my own life.
The irony of tiny house myth, is that tiny houses make us grow bigger because we stop being distracted by so many damn things that tend to distract us. We get, perhaps, to experience a little more of what is essential about dwelling in a place. And since tiny houses are mobile, they connect to the ancient roots of being nomadic, following the winds and the rain and the seasons.
About Magic: I think it is magic to be able to build/create/imagine a home with one’s own hands and body (and hands of friends and neighbors) in today’s world, when most people have someone else simply build them one (Wah La). I think it is magic to be able to afford to build a home in today’s world. I think it’s magic to build a home that can move with you, even if you don’t own land. I think it’s magic to live in tiny spaces, and have to be creative about what you keep, what you give away, what you find, what you re-cycle. I think it’s magic to simplify and begin to shift the state of mind that more=happiness. And last but not least, think of all the mythical magical beings who live in tiny houses—gnomes, hobbits, fairies….how can tiny houses not be magical even if one’s intentions have nothing to do with anything they would describe as magic.
Magic is BASIC.
It’s a funny paradox, but I feel that magic is actually what makes things feel much more real, direct, and alive-being in a body is a kind of magical experience. The illusions of plenty and plastic and speed, are not magic….they are destructive to the experience of it, actually. They take us further away from the fundamental magic of being alive, breathing, touching, growing, emoting, loving…..
Tiny houses, and so many other beautiful things, I think, bring us closer….a ripe tomato from your neighbor’s garden (I like the little yellow ones), an old bike that can get you anywhere (unless you park it outside all winter), uninterrupted time (simply), giving a hand-made gift (the plum jam my neighbor and I spent the whole afternoon making after harvesting plums from the back alleys of Boulder), friends who are at least twice your age or 1/2 your age (last week, I massaged a 16 year old son of a friend, followed by a 60+ year old mother of another friend) , a telephone that you still have to plug into the wall (yes, I have one of those. It really limits multi-tasking).
So, this blog is about connecting to the modern myth and magic of being a tiny house builder, and eventually a tiny house dweller. It’s about my practical, imagined, and created thrills, challenges, and adventures of going tiny (in every way) in a big world. And about having a big voice about it.