Hroth sent me the photograph above so that we could troubleshoot some subtle details for the old/new icehouse entrance and the relationship between the door and the still-to-come exterior landing. I think we’re 99% in sync, but we’ll hash out the details tomorrow so that we’re 100% in sync. In the meantime, I’m enchanted with this photo. The significant evidence of progress toward a new chapter in the life of Rosslyn’s icehouse. The new floor visible within. The shadowed but perceptible interior framing for windows and doors on the far western elevation. A through-view of the area west of the icehouse where lie the gardens and orchard, and where — on a less overcast day — the sun will set into Boquet Mountain a few tree lines beyond Rosslyn’s meadows and woods…
Entrancing Icehouse Entrance
Ever since 2006 when we removed the existing windows and closed up the gaping openings on the north and south elevations of the icehouse in order to re-stabilize the structural integrity of the building, this handsome edifice has been a shrouded utility building primarily employed for off-season storage of deck furniture, hammock stands, unused building materials, and almost decades’ worth of architectural salvage.
But the vision illuminating our rehab project is of a light filled space, a delicate balance between the finite volume of such a small structure and the uninhibited openness of vaulted ceilings and generous fenestration. Rosslyn’s icehouse is mid-journey between dark and constrained to light and open. It’s a transformation from merely functional to inviting, inspirational, invigorating, and multifunctional. A tall order? Perhaps. But the photo above suggests to me that we’re heading in the right direction.
Phoenix Rising: A Haiku
Auburn and umber,
where embers are memories,
phoenix from ashes.
— Geo Davis
This micropoem draws upon the hues of the nearly century and a half old building, naked without siding, textured with time. And it associates these with earthen pigments and with the fading signs of fire. Ashes. Memories. On the one hand this photograph captures a moment on the quest for redemption. Rebirth as a new sort of utility building, relevant in the 21st century as opposed to an icehouse no longer fulfilling its original need. On the other hand, this photograph, as a tiny puzzle piece in my ongoing conversation and collaboration with Hroth, alludes to his still recent, still raw firsthand experience with the Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak blaze, the largest wildfire in New Mexico history.
Rising from the Ashes
I detect the energy of this post getting away from me. I intended to reflect briefly on Hroth’s photo, an aperture into the icehouse itself and into the vision for its future. But I feel the mounting wind pulling free the threads of my narrative. The focus is scattered and the motif is blurring.
A more entangled tale is untucking itself, fluttering and flapping, vying for attention. I understand that I can’t contain it forever, but I’d like — a little longer, at least — to discipline my post, my posts to march in a phalanx toward, well, toward the moment of truth. Or unraveling. Or arrival. Or departure.
I feel the azure dome spinning overhead, and the earth below. I realize I’ve been restraining this mythological force for months, for years. It surfaces and I acknowledge it, but then hasten on. Like a hummingbird or a butterfly lighting brightly, then buzzing on, fluttering on.
Here, for example.
Sometimes setbacks are actually the inspiration to regroup, reboot, and outperform original expectations. Sometimes fiasco fans the fires of triumph. Sometimes the phoenix rises from the ashes.Icehouse Rehab 4.5: Foundation Collaboration
While our carpenter fiasco of the previous year might be summed up as a run-of-the-mill “crash and burn” story, this summer’s refreshing sequel was a quintessential “phoenix rising” story of mythic proportions.Installing Garapa Decking 2022
Two fleeting mentions. And then this less oblique reference.
I’m hoping to eventually persuade Hroth Ottosen to share his very personal decision to roadtrip east from Santa Fe… after the 2022 catastrophic wildfire season that ravaged the southwest… Hroth reminds us that it is possible to emerge from calamitous circumstances braver, wiser, stronger, and freer than we were beforehand… Like I’ve already suggested, a phoenix rising from the ashes!Installing Garapa Decking 2022
But now I’ll abbreviate this reference to Hroth, as the story is his to tell, if and when he’s ready. Instead let’s bring some semblance of closure to this curious clutch of field notes.
What Does Phoenix Rising Mean?
Without further muddling the message, I’ll step back and offer a sounder source.
To rise like a phoenix from the ashes means to emerge from a catastrophe stronger, smarter and more powerful. An example of rising like a phoenix from the ashes is someone who opens a new, successful business after his previous business has failed. Another example is someone who builds a new house after his previous house has been destroyed in a tornado.(Source: Rise Like A Phoenix From The Ashes)
Familiar? Here’s a look into the mythological origins of this familiar “born again” story.
The phoenix bird is a mythical bird from Greek mythology. It was a feathered creature of great size with talons and wings, its plumage radiant and beautiful. The phoenix lived for 500 years before it built its own funeral pyre, burst into flame, and died, consumed in its own fiery inferno. Soon after, the mythical creature rose out of the ashes, in a transformation from death to life…(Source: Rise Like A Phoenix From The Ashes)
And this, for now, strikes me as a suitable spot to sidle off.