Sunday, July 27

The Teahouse from Hell

"Dreams are not cheap."

Three years ago I decided to build a Japanese style teahouse in my back yard. A place where I could meditate, do some writing, sleep in when it’s too hot in the summer. Lovely idea. So I merrily drew plans, made a scale model in paper and spent a lot of time doing creative visualizing of how I wanted it to look. It didn’t get anywhere because as usual, I didn’t have the wood or the proper tools. I certainly didn’t have the money to buy tatamis (straw floor mats) and had no clue how to build shoji ( paper and wood screens) but hey why let practical matters interfere with a dream. Right?

This year I came upon a good chunk of free wood that was just the right so I thought what the hell, maybe it’s time. I recycled an old wood platform I used for a hot tub and got it up on cement blocks. A friend with a chop saw came and helped me get the upright posts and sub flooring put in. The project was going along, slowly but surely.

Then it promptly came to an abrupt stop. Despite my 20 years of carpentry experience I discovered I didn’t know what I was doing. I knew nothing about Japanese architecture. Whenever I tried to work on it, the project fought me the whole time. It was very frustrating. Screw it, I sighed in exasperation. I’ll deal with after I go to Japan. I’ll take lots of pictures and get a better idea of what to do.

Of course now the whole thing has to be redesigned. First, shit for brains (points to self) didn’t determine the size of a standard tatami first so the floor area is too small. After some meditating on that matter I think I found a solution. Ok never mind the walls for now, let’s work on the roof- did I mention I’ve never built a roof before? It seems to be a straight forward thing but after the earlier frustration I’m hesitant to continue without a lot of forethought. I find myself staring at the sturdy framing and wondering if I’ll ever finish this.

All I wanted was a simple place to get away from the world how did it become so complex?

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