I have big, sad, beautiful news. The tiny house found her new home! After all the work, joy, and tears that came with building and living in her, seeing her off was rich with complex emotions. She held me for years when I needed it, enveloped and protected me. She also holds so many of the people dearest to me, past and present – people who gifted labor, lumber, love, truly uncountable blessings that made her into the exceptional home she is.
In building and living in her, she taught me far more than I ever anticipated: lessons of solitude, community, generosity, commitment, confrontations with the ways we desire to and actually live in spaces and the ache that attends the differences between. She continues to teach me what it means to trust, to change, to let go. In this moment, her most important lesson for me is that the spirit with and in which something is built shapes the community that eventually surrounds it. The tiny house, formed from love and passionate imaginings of more conscious and creative living, summoned her new owners. We all summoned each other.
She is now nestled next to an incredible family, on the edge of a beautiful grove, preparing to shelter a teacher as they found a forest school. The tiny knew I wouldn’t be able to joyfully let her go unless it was to continue the work for which she was built. She knew that because, in so many ways, we built each other. And I am so much better for it. Here’s a picture of her leaving where we called home and one as she settles in to her new one.
“Whatever good things we build, end up building us” – Jim Rohn
Though this special, special house has moved, my thinking about the tiny house movement has not left me. I am still very much invested in emphasizing the complexity of whiteness, race, and systems of oppression in our built environments – the ways our physical structures are built out of, re-establish, and also disassemble our social structures. For my part, I am still thinking in terms of #tinyhousesowhite, which I discussed here. But I will keep revising, adding, rebuilding (at this moment for an upcoming talk at Cornell, the history of utopias). Until then, look how these houses MOVE. They move me, they move themselves, and they can move the seemingly fixed social relations that define and sometimes damage us. THOW-WOW. 😉