Backyard daydreams

Pollan Backyard Daydreams.jpg

For my last birthday my son gave me a copy of Michael Pollan's A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams. He knows that I have long daydreamed about squeezing a little writing studio into the backyard of our city lot. A Place of My Own is about Pollan's building of a one-room writing house on his wooded Connecticut property. Into the narrative of his personal project, Pollan weaves the story of architecture and construction to explore why our houses are the way they are. The book has certainly fueled my daydreams, but it's also given me other things to think about as well. I'm looking at my own humble house differently, finding in the window design, the roofline, the front entrance, some rationale that links to an architectural and philosophical chronology and not just to a decade. It helps answer the question, Why is it the way it is?, when I hadn't even really thought to ask the question before. I love when a book does that, posits a new question in my brain and thinking about the answer opens up new ways of seeing and understanding. I'm looking at other buildings with that question now. Plus I'm thinking about the people doing the building. Strangers once worked where I now eat and sleep and type this post. I know nothing about them, yet everyday I benefit from their careful measuring, sawing, pounding, leveling, and sanding.