well, not really pittsburgh. more like the beautiful laurel highland mountain area about an hour outside of the ‘burgh. we started with a tour of the place that i have been wanting to see for over two decades....
the vacation house that frank lloyd wright built for the kaufmann family of pittsburgh. he built it cantilevered over a waterfall. he is crazy like that.
i have been a frank lloyd wright fan (of his work, not really his lifestyle or character) for a long time now. and this house was at the top of my list of places i want to see before i die. i have seen f.l.l.w.’s home and studio in oak park and walked through the guggenheim museum in nyc that he designed. the exhibit at the museum was HORRIBLE but the design of the museum itself and the feeling being inside of it was incredible. he never ceases to impress me with his buildings and the feelings that are invoked by his designs...
and whenever i read biographies of him... he never ceases to depress me with his actual life...
in fact during this trip i was reading the book “the fellowship” about his cult-ish group of apprentices at his home taliesan. and wow. just wow. those are some STRANGE people. and he is the king of the strange. and his fourth wife... the uber queen of strange. really. it makes michael jackson’s lifestyle look tame. even madonna seems choir girlish next to these people.
the brochure for fallingwater says that it is “one of the 12 landmarks that will change the way you see the world” (travel and leisure magazine)
and coupled with this one fact from the book, it did change the way i see some things in my little world...
mrs. kaufmann (the wife and mother of the family that the house was built for) said that the day they moved into fallingwater was the happiest day of her life. they entertained lavishly there for all their friends. and then 15 years later she chooses it as the place to overdose on sleeping pills.
and i am a gal who thinks that if my house was perfect that all would be right with the world, or if we didn’t have to worry about money that all would be sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.
however in the middle of this PERFECT SPACE on the perfect place, in a vacation home, with all the money she would ever need or want... mrs. kaufmann didn’t want to go on living her perfectly financed and decorated life.
for a home that oozes peace, balance, and simplicity of design in harmony with nature... there was none of that in the lives of the people that lived there or in the life of the architect who designed it. frank could build it. the kaufmanns could live in the midst of it. but it made no difference in their soul.
makes the urgency of me painting my bedroom and getting a new comforter, the loads of laundry filling up my playroom, and the clutter that springs up all over this house seem a bit more manageable... and realistic.
perhaps the reality that i can’t buy EVERYthing or even MOST of the things that i want to make this house and my life more perfect is not the catastrophe that it feels like to me. i can’t redo my kitchen, i can’t buy millie a whole new wardrobe to start high school, i am hoping that maxx doesn’t notice that we really aren’t giving him anything for his birthday, and that i am praying with every load that this washer and dryer hold out for one more year...and that might be healthy for my soul. and my prayer life.
fallingwater... a beautiful place to visit. and a beautiful lesson to learn.
a house can be perfect... but it doesn’t mean that it is a HOME.
Psalm 127: 1-2 (the message)
If God doesn't build the house,
the builders only build shacks.
If God doesn't guard the city,
the night watchman might as well nap.
It's useless to rise early and go to bed late,
and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don't you know he enjoys
giving rest to those He loves?
Proverbs 24: 3 & 4 (the message)
Don't envy bad people;
don't even want to be around them.
All they think about is causing a disturbance;
all they talk about is making trouble.
It takes wisdom to build a house,
and understanding to set it on a firm foundation;
It takes knowledge to furnish its rooms
with fine furniture and beautiful draperies.