My Boat Abode – LivingMini™

Not too long ago, I was visiting my new friend Christopher at his music studio, situated on the edge of the Northern California coast. After lunch his intern gave me a tour of the property, an artists’ collective, where I spied an old wooden boat in the back garden. It was a traditional Norwegian double-ender fishing vessel, converted into a cottage and settled within a rustic garden landscape.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI then learned that the owners Michael and Nani invite guests to stay in the boat. I knew then that this was my next abode. Six weeks later, here I am fully ensconced in a week-long writing retreat. It’s a perfect tiny space, private and yet encased in windows looking on onto the surrounding gardens. So peaceful and silent and lush.

Secret Gardens

My host Michael is sculptor and works with natural elements like rock and wood. He not only built the boat, but all the structures on the property including the Sun Center, which is used for yoga retreats, Chris’ music studio, his and Nani’s hexagonal home and workshops, and the Viking House.

These rough-hewn structures surround a 25-ft rock sculpture housing a 4-foot tall Tibetan bell and gong. The rock obelisk is carved with faces and has plants emerging from the cracks between the stones, so it appears as a living monument to the natural world around us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe central stone pillar is encircled by all types of gardens—a Japanese rock garden, an edible garden, and a profusion of plants. Most charming are the wood nymphs and hand-carved characters that inhabit the gardens, nestled in corners, perched near doorways, standing watch over us all. Truly a magical space.

Sea Creatures

Not only are the sea-side gardens inspiring, so are the artists who live and work here. I love being here with Nani, a dancer, Michael, a photographer and sculptor, and Christopher, a composer. The creative pulse is strong, with all of us sharing ideas and enjoying one another’s work.

Life-long friendships have formed and joint projects are taking shape combining film with music, dance with storytelling, and photography with the spoken word.

Window into my World

During my week here, I’m living a semi-secluded life. I spend the morning hours writing, filling myself with cup after cup of black coffee. Then I walk the beach to a seaside café for ‘breakfast’ about 1:00, spending the rest of the afternoon either hiking the hills or plying the beach in search of interesting rocks or reading in my garden nook.

photo by Michael Power, boat interiorWith wintertime, it’s completely dark at 5:00 pm, so I head back inside my wooden womb and write for another 4-5 hours. I then crawl under the down comforter and read for a while, my head buried deep within the flannel sheets where I stay for at least 8 hours, incubating my ideas and stories.

Happy New Year

As I lay in bed at night, the quietness engulfs me. I listen to the ocean waves crashing outside and the fog horn and the wind. I am enjoying the luxury of solitude and expansive time.

This week in my boat abode is the perfect opening to the New Year. A year dedicated to creative pursuits, to nomadic wanderings, and to adventures with new friends. 2015 is ripe with the promise of exploration!

Photo: Boat Interior by Michael Powers

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 2nd, 2015 and is filed under Home.

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