As I sit here, looking across the river into a new morning, I realize its been a long while since my last entry, and even longer since I re-counted my travails of monsoon flooding. In the interval, the crew has gone, doing a reasonably good job, though leaving many things unfinished. Over the nine months I have accrued a wealth of handy information I’ll happily pass on to anyone who might decide to build here, managing their own project themselves; this is a guaranteed experience, certain to be fraught with adventure.
A day or so after I moved in, even though the place was far from finished, (and still is) I discovered a small brown leave floating near the ceiling of the main room; it was nearly identical to millions more that lay about the ground outside. Upon closer inspection, I discovered it was suspended on a small silk thread.
I took the tiny leaf in my hand, turned it over and discovered a small creature’s dwelling. Whatever it was, it lived hidden inside a well constructed and camouflaged pouch, obviously benefiting from such obscurity; once on the ground, among the many other dead leaves, it would call very little attention to itself.
For survival, many insects have evolved to appear as something else, usually as something potentially fearsome to a would be predator. However, this little creature simply recycles natural material for it’s home, allowing it to remain hidden, perhaps as a chrysalis, until it emerges as…what? I have no idea. Perhaps it was a kind of silk worm riding the winds in its leaf chariot until it landed inside my house.
I took it outside and set it into a sea of similar leaves. In a way, I, too, am constructing a dwelling around me, as I, hopefully, build nothing unneeded. There are two small constructions, mine the closest to the river, set up on stilts and which will house my studio beneath. My adopted family, Lek, Paan, Gam, and Wei, live in the second dwelling.
And we begin a skeleton of landscaping, a bamboo fence upon which vines can grow and flowers bloom is first to go up. In this sub-tropical climate, it takes little time for a virtual jungle to establish itself. An outside kitchen and dinning area will eventually appear, and even an outside shower is sure to come.
During the midst of construction and to give myself a day’s break, I took a visit a little further north to a place called Pun Pun. Here a group of dedicated folks from Thailand and elsewhere grow organic food, and hold workshops in the craft of mud-hut building.