Posted by: nativeiowan | April 8, 2012

hapi Good Friday

Tropical morning sunshine streams though the glass walls of the house. I always leave at least one curtain a bit open as a timekeeper.

Last night, 24 hours off of full moon, the glass wall was filled with silvery moonlight.

“Glass walls?” I hear you ask…

When I designed and built this pad I had a personal idea of what the classic dwelling, on top of a hill, surrounded by ocean should look like. For me you needed lookout room that looked everywhere. You needed a place for a telescope, on all sides.  You needed to be able to live inside or outside, without much notice or difference.

So the long house with big open decks all around and a huge, extended roof with long eaves came into concept.

The desire to have tile floors decided we lay a concrete slab 10 feet off the ground. Such in itself is not difficult. One must only prepare to support the weight of the concrete. So we end up with a multitude of bearing posts with a complex timber flooring system that creates a baffle to support and hold the 6 inches of concrete. (All up about 30 cubes metric of concrete into the floor)

The other foolish desire to have uninterrupted cathedral ceilings decided we find and use uninterrupted 12” x 4’” timber beams over 15 meters long (almost 50 feet) and weighing upwards to 150 kilos or 300 lbs.  In order to procure such we ended up identifying and buying a couple large hardwoods here on Gizo island. My guys spent a couple months cutting then manhandling the beams out of the rain forest. The entire cutting by necessity was done by chainsaw. So we pulled, and winched, and skidded, and drug some 30 of these rough sawn, large, unwieldy monsters out of the bush and into the workshop.  If the timbers weigh 300 lbs dressed they would have been an easy 400 lbs rough.

The really stupid and foolish desire to have all the walls made up of glass sliding doors was indeed a really stupid and foolish desire. But it was one I had and spent the time to pursue, in line with the indoor – outdoor living concept. And after having looked at some “BALI” designed houses with accordion or roller doors, I decided to go with clear glass sliding doors.

The dwelling is built with a simple “pole-barn” concept. Main bearing posts run from ground to roof. The basic design is based on a 2-meter center for all posts. The house is 22 x 12 meters. 3 meters all around is open deck space with the 6-meter by 18-meter rectangle that makes up the interior being open and uninterrupted by bearing posts. The house has a large main room, which is kitchen and common room, a bedroom and bath on each side, and lots of open deck space.  All rooms open on all sides onto the deck.

10 circuits of the verandah and you have done half a klick.

Now, the glass sliding doors are cool and do the trick to keep one in touch with the elements but they do let light out, and in. The are a number of reasons why one may wish to keep light either out, or in, and as such I chose to put really thick, daylight blocking curtains up in the bedrooms. These suckers weigh a ton, look great, and if closed properly keep 99% of the light out.  They turn day into night

This is why I always leave at least one curtain a bit open as a timekeeper.

My bed faces the east. I like to keep an east and a south curtain open a bit. I enjoy watching the sunrise from my bed. And I like to be able to see the weather out south of here. Lying in bed and having the ocean as far as the eye can see is nice. I can pretty well gauge a Gizo day from what I see from my bed at daybreak.

This morning is a public holiday, Good Friday.

I have forever been confused by the title of this particular Holy Day. I, as a young child in a parochial school system, was taught the stations of the cross and told that we should do this, think of JC’s suffering, on Good Friday.

This all comes after Lent. 40 days of sacrifice and preparation.  All leads to Easter. And all that candy. Which of course engendered the whole catholic famine/ feast theology I had been raised with. But I had been confused by Good Friday?

Good Friday?

Now, coming from Ash Wednesday, I found Good Friday perplexing to the point of distraction. I could not do the stations of the cross like I was taught because the title assumed my agreement that there was something Good about that particular Friday.

Ash Wednesday was easy to understand. If you were into the whole “festival” of the Holy drama weekend you could actually join the burning the palms that gave the ash which we got marked with.

I was also into the pentecostal candle. The one that supposedly burned for 40 days and 40 nights. The ritual of lighting that big candle was always one of my favorites.

I was always into the spectacle of the ritual.

Though the smell of strong incense had been known to make me puke, I enjoyed the old Latin ceremonies with the stiff vestments, and large accouterments that were old, and heavy.

But Good Friday was always confusing for me.

So we’re preparing for a long, quiet weekend. The weather has come good. A squall and a wetting at least once a day but nothing out of the ordinary… enough sunlight and fine weather to keep everyone happy and occupied all weekend long.

But I remain perplexed about and by Good Friday.

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