According to John Cage, "The more glass, I say, the better." Now this was said, in delight, regarding a Mies van der Rohe house in Chicago, but I happen to agree to a certain extent. Forget firm foundations, practicality, form and function. Forget privacy, unless you would destroy beauty
with shades or curtains. "Let there be light" is one of my favorite quotes from God himself.
Very recently I went for a job interview at a health club in an upscale, old money/new money town I once lived in, at four separate times of my life.
Driving home, I decided to satisfy my curiosity by going up a long private drive to see a house that once had more glass windows, doors, and skylights than I had ever seen. The house was too modern for my taste, even back then in the 80's, but I had fallen in love with the owner and he with me. He encouraged my art by allowing me to design and have a studio built on his property. It was probably the three most creative and destructive years of my life, but I wanted to see if my memory of the place was accurate.
The iron gates rusted wide open should have been the first red flag, then a pick-up truck in the middle of the woods, abandoned with the hood propped up, dead plants in plastic pots lining the driveway that were certainly intended to be planted, wheelbarrows and garden tools left lying
left and right. There were four or five cars parked at odd angles, as if leftover from one hell of a party.
I knocked at the glass door and could see into the glass walls of the living room, at least the double-sided stone fireplace was still there. No one answered.
I yelled out hello a few times, then walked down the path behind the house, rehearsing what I'd say if someone appeared. My heart didn't stop, drop
or roll when I saw the remains of the studio. Instead, the very architecture of my heart re-arranged itself.
I noticed first bright blue tarps covering all the south facing skylights, cheap tacky venetian blinds covered the glass front door, every window, even the glass sliding doors to the kiln room, which was half-open, allowing wildlife and weather to enter. I could see junk piled high everywhere
inside, pressing against the cheap blinds, falling out the half-open door, growing like weeds around outside walls where I once planted flowers and herbs with my own hands, despite a full-time gardener on staff.
Too many memories began returning, both good, bad and in between, so I left, wondering if the wall phone hand painted purple and a taped Movado watch on it with a broken wristband so I'd know what time it was, was still inside.