13 August 2006

Shaken Loose and Reforming

About two months ago by landlord called me up and let me know that he needed me to leave my apartment. I'm happy to say that from the first moment, thank God, I looked at it as an opportunity.

I had such a great apartment...

that it would have taken a whole lot for me to shake myself out of there; this gave me the nudge that I apparently needed.

A lot of folks have passed through the old place. It had a great location, and a lot of space for people to crash out when they needed to. When I first looked at it, more than 3 years back, the sweet old woman who owns the place told me to go up and see if it 'found grace in my eyes.' It found grace in my eyes.

But there I was, out on the tiles. I started tossing around a couple of ideas. Rent again in the neighborhood? Look into buying a place in Jerusalem? Maybe move out to Bat Ayin. Hey, yeah - maybe move out to Bat Ayin.

I gave Rav Yehoshua a call and we started throwing around ideas of how I could make my way out to Bat Ayin. Turns out there's a rule on the books that says a single person can't live in the community, but the yeshiva has a sort of exemption to that policy. Barring major effort, I'd have to find a place in the Yeshiva. Probably best that way, anyway.

Now the problem is, the normal dorm rooms aren't exactly designed for guys like me who have taken on the roles of amateur scholar, geek, and housewife and come fully loaded with things like ovens, computers, and a whole world full of books. The place I crashed in last year wasn't quite going to do it.

So we started looking at the caravans out there, thinking maybe I could fix one of them up, and move myself and all of my craziness in there.

This one just screams out "potential", no? It did for me.

We lined up a contractor, and I started taking measurements. I have a love for all things design, and I stared having fun.

We got to work.

I was really fixated on a window. The above picture is of the wall that faces the view you see two pictures back. It's one of the best views in the world...but there's no window.

So I got down to business.

Worrying about small panes, low sills, the golden ratio, structural support, opening, air, etc. etc. etc.

I ended up with this window.

And then a big hole in the wall

When it came to the final decisions, worrying about price and timing, I had to scale back the fancy plan, a bit.

Meanwhile I'm packing everything into boxes. The first wave of boxes, everything was well organized, books boxed by theme, clothes by season, etc. By the end of it, I'm packing boxes like these:

Every few days I schelp'd out another carload of boxes and stuck 'em in a room I grabbed for the purpose, all the while scheming how all of this stuff would fit.

We went over schedule a bit, and had to do work during the nine days, the period leading up to Tisha B'Av, when the first and second temples were both destroyed. During this time, we don't generally look for projects to do. Since I was going to be out on the streets, and this was not a superfluous dwelling, we had reason enough to continue. I made sure to leave a spot unpainted...

After about a month's worth of work, the caravan's starting to look good.

And I'm on the move.

We moved the last load from Jerusalem last Monday, and I've been spending the week unpacking and sorting, forming and reforming. Digging the view and the sun and the small group of great folks holding down the fort out here for the summer.

The place is starting to come together.

Right now there are three rooms - living room/kitchen, bedroom, and dumping-ground-for-everything-else-room. I'm hoping to improve on that last one.

I'm really exited about the opportunity to be out here, in God Country, investing and encountering and experiencing and, with God's help, shaking some more assumptions loose to be able to grow beyond the boundaries of my current conceptions.


MC Aryeh said...

'laizer! It should all be for a bracha...the window looks fantastic, and I love how the caravan is cantilevered just so...thanks for the vicarious moving experience. I feel like I was there (certainly wish I was). More pictures, please!

A Simple Jew said...

Doesn't Rabbi Ozer Bergman teach at that yeshiva?


'laizer said...

He does...you have a connection?

A Simple Jew said...

No, but I correspond with him from time to time. I am really looking forward to reading his new book

Do you have any shiurim with him?

'laizer said...

I haven't yet...