Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


The Amazing Cowboy Cottage

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

March 19, 2023

"Life is empty and meaningless, and it's empty and meaningless that it's empty and meaningless."
"From the inside, my Dad's house is the smallest house in the world. But from the outside, it's the biggest house in the world."
... my son Joshua Nelson Platt, 11 years old, 2005

"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail."
... Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
This essay, The Amazing Cowboy Cottage, is the companion piece to It is also the seventh in a septology on Homes:
  1. In The Face Of Commitment
  2. Stellenberg Avenue
  3. Faery Cottage
  4. Creekside Cabin
  5. A House On Franklin Street
  6. Stripping It Down To The Studs
  7. The Amazing Cowboy Cottage
in that order.

It is also the sequel to In The Face Of Commitment.

I am indebted to my son Joshua Nelson Platt and to Henry David Thoreau who inspired this conversation, and to Joan "Joani" Culver who contributed material.

Backstory: life dealt me a new set of circumstances which required I move out of where I'd been staying. I complained, protested, argued it wasn't "fair" etc - you know, the usual gang of suspects ... until reality set in and I realized what was so, was I needed a place to stay temporarily while I figured out where to live next, a time to chill, a time to decide if I'd rent a house or buy one. It took me two weeks to find this place, this haven whimsically known as Cowboy Cottage. I moved in, expecting to be living here for about a month (give or take a week or so). It's been eighteen years now. And there's no end in sight.

Click to visit the amazing Cowboy Cottage

Website by Laurence Platt
The Amazing Cowboy Cottage
In my life, there've been places in which I've lived which while charming, were just rest-stops along the way of my hejira. And by that I mean I unpacked and hung my clothes there, showered there, did my laundry there, ate and slept there but as a base‑camp  only, from where to venture out in sorties to visit other  destinations.

Cowboy Cottage put a stop to that modus operandi. A holiday-maker visiting in the area said to me "This is a desirable vacation destination. But you already live here, and in this amazing cottage too! Where do you  go on vacation?". I paused, oddly having never once considered that before. Then I said "I don't, I'm already here.".

C'est vrai!  It's true. This ain't no ordinary location. This ain't no dourly traditional base-camp-for-living  house from which just to sally forth, get entertained, explore the world, then to return to afterwards. The amazing Cowboy Cottage is itself the journey's end, the experience itself to be realized, the destination in and of itself.

Cowboy Cottage comes with its own alarm clock: the rising sun. It also has its own 24 / 7 / 365 movie channels: look out the windows. It abuts a cattle pasture's 150 acres with an endless parade of wildlife visitors, occasional horses, cows, reptiles of all descriptions, and a babbling Cayetano creek, rest-stop for migratory water-fowl.

This is my beckoned home, this fortuitously manifested one-room cottage, this Walden. Soon it'll have been my home for longer than any other place on the planet. Some aver a "Walden" is a place to retreat to find the meaning of life. But given that life really has no meaning, that it's empty and meaningless, and it's empty and meaningless that it's empty and meaningless, what shows up at the amazing Cowboy Cottage is inspiration to express it, live it, celebrate it.

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