Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Sacred and the Sold-Out

A friend has gently chastised me for citing the sites of the sights photographed for this blog, or even hinting at the locales. She says that if I love these places, I will tell no one. This will sound pretty extreme to some, but she is right on the money. If you have lived in a beautiful place only to see it overrun -- even if the overrunners are wonderful people -- you will understand her concern. A few clues have been removed from the blog.

This business of vanishing wilderness and vanishing countryside is a fence that I've tried to straddle for a long time, with limited success. As a rural architect, my living has been earned by designing all the sorts of buildings which are gobbling up acreage and shorelines and encouraging people to visit once-wonderful places so that they can return to the city with a Chinese-made trinket and a pocket full of real estate brochures. I can rationalize, to myself and my ecologically aware friends, that if I hadn't done it, someone else would; and they might have been architectural boors.

I haven't done any commercial projects in a while, but have concentrated on home design, which seemed, somehow, less damaging. Still, the homes are marching over hill and dale, through the woods and up the beach. Everybody needs a piece of the pie, and then their appetites for pie increase, and they need bigger pieces, and more of them, and it occurs to them that they could make a tidy profit selling pie. (is anybody getting hungry here?)

Wouldn't it be just dandy if I could wrap this entry up with some clever solution -- some way to quench the thirst of the advantaged -- without wrecking the economy, either the nation's or my own? That would be nice, but I'll need to think about it. Meanwhile, I'll do my best to keep the secrets of the sacred places of solitude.

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