Looks Can Be Deceiving

Looks Can Be Deceiving

My house is really, really small.

I mean, tiny! It’s comically cramped and crooked. The building started as a timber shed for a coal mining company, but back then, in the late 1800s, it was just a single room made of rough-cut fir, hand-hewn from forests which had stood, unmolested, for millennia.

Once ancient trees, then a timber shed, now my bathroom – from lovely to lumber to lavatory. Something to ponder while sitting on the toilet.

The coal company closed the nearby mine after a rollicking explosion that killed 63 men, entombed forever under my back yard, and soon after, the timber shed was sold to an enterprising fellow who saw potential. He added another wall, another door, another window, a porch and a sink, on and on, until he’d created a puzzle of living spaces, all wedged together to create enough room(s) to raise a family. Sporadically, the family would re-wallpaper the living room, and now, whenever we install a plug or a heater, we find layers of patterns in faded baby blue and sweet salmon pink, quintessentially mid-twentieth century in design.

And this is where I write. This is where the ideas come. While it may appear small from the street, there are entire worlds inside these walls that are waiting to be explored. The possibilities are limited, not by floor space or ceiling height, but by the animation of our discussions and the restrictions of our unbounded imaginations. More rooms would only provide more distractions. If this house was bigger, I think the ideas would be lost in all the wasted space, and they’d float away like an untethered astronaut, fated to drift forgotten through the cosmos.

Here, there’s no opportunity for losing ideas. Instead, we’re thrown together into a treasure box of inspiration, hounded by concepts and creativity, and unable to escape. The house is old and tiny, and full of stories, and its littleness is not a weakness, but a strength.

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