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My Houses

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People often ask how I could have moved so often for my various jobs, and lived in so many places, especially when I have so many books? The answer is simple:

I discovered long ago that if there were only one word to describe my life, that word would be “Nidifugous”: it means “Fleeing the nest immediately after hatching!”

In short, much as I’ve loved everyplace I’ve ever lived, I have loved to discover the next place even more.

So here, as many readers have requested, I’ve posted photos of, and stories about, some of my favorite houses, places where I’ve been inspired over the years to to write my books and stories.

Some of these at the moment are still evolving, so stay tuned!

 

The Mysterious Symbol

The Mysterious Symbol August 8, 2014 Late at night, my first winter in the Japanese house, I was sleeping on cushions on the floor when my resident herd of deer ran through the front courtyard, and set off the motion detector light at the upper entrance, flooding the interior with light. Wearily, I crawled out of my improvised “bed.” While trying to figure out how to turn off the light, I suddenly saw through the win
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Wind and Water (Feng Shui)

“Wind and Water” (Feng Shui) There is a system of building design that precedes Neutra’s by millennia: Feng Shui is the ancient oriental art of siting and designing buildings in keeping with key features of the natural landscape, like mountains and valleys created by “winds and waters.” I had studied it for years, including a stint with Stephen Karcher and Rudolph Ritsema at Eranos, the
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Design for Living

Escape from Structured Environment: As a child, I’d always wanted to be outside climbing trees, picking persimmons or pears to eat, or buckeyes that bring luck if carried in your pocket. I hated being trapped indoors in the sterile “educational” environments created to torture young children. Some of my least favorite recollections are of being stuck in cafeteria lines with a plastic tray of plastic
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Heaven & Earth

As layers and years of neglect of the Japanese House were peeled away, something interesting emerged: a vision of “the house within the house.” It was not my vision, however. I am not an expert in Japanese architecture or any other. It was the vision of what the house itself wanted to be. I had noticed that, of the three architects I invited to look at the house (all of whom declared it a total disaster)
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