Monday, October 13, 2008

Folly - House Building

Was I the only one fascinated, reading the steps, the calculation, the sheer difficulty Rae had rebuilding her house?

She chose the act of building the house as a method of overcoming her monopolar depression. Rae knew that if she didn't get the house built, she'd freeze during the winter.

Realistically, yes. She could have wallowed in her depression, and left the island before the weather got too bad. But she chose instead to give herself a goal to achieve. Being able to focus on something other than her misery and her certainty that her life would never change gave her an "out". That building employed the woodworking skills that exempliefied her strength and success was material in her choice.

I was watching The Presidents on The American Experience on PBS the other evening. When Jimmy Carter lost the election in 1980 and went home, he was viewed as such a failure that lifelong friends actually avoided him. It wasn't till he started working with Habitat for Humanity, building homes for the poor, that people started seeing him as someone they wanted to emulate.

Henry David Thoreau is best known for building a cabin at Walden Pond.

Many of us watched Frontier House, and were amazed at the methods they used for building their homes.

In the past, whole communities would come together to help raise a barn. The Harrison Ford movie, Witness, had a great barn raising sequence. (The clip is about 6 1/2 minutes long, and is dubbed in German. It really doesn't matter for this sequence!)

Rae's neighbors throw a barn raising for her, when Rae's at the point of putting up the second floor. While it saves her an enourmous amount of time (and perhaps her life, as witnessed by her dropping a huge beam almost on herself), and she's grateful, Rae also resents her friends' taking that action without her express request.

Would you have jumped in to be part of the group that helped Rae?

No comments: