Not that kind.
I’m talking about finding a place to live in where I can think and write and endlessly create. My colleagues Will Hopkins and Mary K. Baumann have a stupendous think pad. As loyal readers of this blog know, I’ve been house hunting. It’s been eye-opening in more ways than one.
First of all, you learn a lot about the economy by walking through vacant homes that have been foreclosed on. Some have gutted kitchens left gaping—no stove, nothing. It’s eerie. This has taught me that houses are organic. They need life going on inside of them or they become dead zones. No spark.
Secondly, you re-learn lessons. For instance, people in the real estate business work harder than they appear to and rarely seem to enjoy it. Perhaps the lack of joy in the job has something to do with overall deprivation: lots of time in the car, heavy amounts of detail, and a lack of personal indulgences that might otherwise cheer a person up—like treating yourself to a nice outfit once in a while.
Finally, you find your X factor: that thing you really need. Me? I need a place to think. I don’t need terrific neighbors who become my best friends. Although I am friendly with my current neighbors, I prefer intimate friendships to casual ones. I don’t need a restoration project—I already have too many deadlines. And I no longer need a place to raise my children. They are out in the world.
Place is important. On the macro level, the cities we choose to live in define our lifestyles. It’s why we should demand that they be inspiring. Check out Carol Coletta’s new gig and see why she continues to be at the forefront of urban design.
On a micro level, our immediate surroundings are either conducive to creative work or not. My home must be a catalyst for ideas.
My creativity wish list is as follows:
I need light, room for work tables to lay out projects, spacious empty walls for endless sticky notes and doing pattern recognition. And sunlight. Hours and hours of it.
I need a think pad—to live in.
Wish me luck.