Limitations Imply Possibilities

A couple things:


Prospect Builders, John Hockman's design/build company we're working with to spearhead and manage the 3-part project (as described in the last post), is now on Instagram. Follow them on that platform at @prospectbuilders.


After much thought about our available options, my wife and I have decided to proceed with all three components of the project, only, due to the limitations of our budget, we've chosen to scale back my hoped-for studio dimensions of 20' x 60' (app) to 20' x 40', with an additional "temporary" 200 sf. of storage in the form of my existing 1 car detached garage on the east end of the building. We would think of this as a "phase 1" sort of deal, with respect to the studio. Hopefully, "phase 2", somewhere down the road, would add not only the final 400 sf. onto the studio, but a partial basement with app. 400 sf. of storage space.

While a few options have appeared which would allow us the additional funds we'd need to build the fully-envisioned studio in one go, and while doing so would save money and additional construction disruption, none to date are within our comfort zone. For instance, Nan's robbing a bank while I sit in our KIA Forte with its zero to sixty of 4 minutes and thirty seven seconds? Hardly the ideal getaway car.

I informed John Hockman, the principal of Prospect Builders, who'd been in a holding pattern since last Friday's meeting, about our decision on Tuesday evening.

Compromise. How do I feel about it?

I console myself with the knowledge that it seems like the wisest course of action - one that sets us up for the most financial flexibility, takes advantage of the current housing market conditions, and at least doubles my current studio space. I'll keep kicking stones over in the next few weeks before our decision is literally set in concrete and, if nothing promising is uncovered, I'll make do.

Such limitations are, after all, often a key ingredient for creativity. City regulation limitations. Budget limitations. Time and energy limitations. And the resulting space limitations...

John R. Trimble, in Writing With Style, subtitled Conversations on the Art of Writingsays that if the writer isn't interested in their subject, the reader won't be, either. But writers (and, may I insert, creatives of all stripes) often aren't allowed to pick their own subjects; projects they're passionate about. They're "limited" by the scope of the assignment or what not. In Trimble's answer to that dilemma, which involves creating a stake in the subject; treating it as a challenge to one's powers of imagination, curiosity, and open-mindedness, I came across the following passage:

"I recommend we take a moment here to think about Russell Page, perhaps the finest landscape architect that England has produced, at least in the 20th century. Virtually all of Mr. Page's projects were 'assigned' (commissioned), and often in the most unpromising locales - a marshland, say, or a windswept highland, or a property far too wide and far too shallow. Yet he managed to turn out one elegant landscape after another - truly gorgeous things. How? Mainly his attitude. 'Limitations imply possibilities,' he wrote in The Education of a Gardener. 'A problem is a challenge.' Isn't that a beautiful way to view things?"

Limitations imply possibilities. A problem is a challenge. 

I hope to take a page from Mr. Page, regarding the reduced scale of the studio, anyways. Just don't touch my coffee mug.


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