This blog post was written by Shira Feinberg, a member of the T8 cohort from Topanga, California. She enjoys rollerblading around Irvington, painting abstract art for the 13th ave. living room, and admiring flowers in her neighbors’ front yards. She interns with Street Roots, a grassroots newspaper, and with Tivnu construction.
It was our first morning back from our Mt. Rainier camping trip. I came downstairs, sat in the living room, and looked around. I saw my housemates strewn over couches and pillows. I realized at that moment that we had never spontaneously gathered all together in our living room before.
Over the past two weeks, as we got to know our house on 13th Avenue, we came to the conclusion that our living room was irreconcilably, objectively, without a doubt, UNCOZY. We had two couches that made a right angle on one side of the room. However, at the junction where the couches SHOULD have met, there was a ghastly entryway. And across the room?!?! ANOTHER ENTRYWAY. I could feel the cozy energy rush right through the room like a stream.
Sitting there, discussing the lack of cozy, sparked an idea within me. I ran downstairs, grabbed a plum top sheet and a container of thumbtacks. Thumb tacking a sheet to a wall was harder than I imagined it would be. Marina, one of our housemates, offered her hand-crafted octopus pewter mug as a hammering device and we set to work. Tap Tap. Tap. Snap. Crap, I broke another thumbtack. “Levi! Pass me one more?”
Shira stands in front of the newly-hung, cozifying sheet.
With the first jewel-toned sheet hanging gloriously, the group of us in the living room cheered. Success! We had closed off one entryway. But we were nowhere close to done. A spark ignited within us. We rushed, slipping down the stairs, up the stairs, back down the stairs. In our arms, we carried all manner of blankets, pillows, and sheets. Another magenta sheet ascended. A third, paisley sheet cut off a corner of the room. We pushed couches and chairs. We hung blankets and moved the coffee table. Meanwhile, laughter, screams, and shouts bounced around the room.
When we placed the last pillow on the final chair, the space felt magical. A blanket fort stood proudly in front of us. The fever of construction found its way into us all. We fretted for a minute about whether our RA would make us take it down. But we all agreed that this fort was clearly NOT MESS, so it could never be cleaned.
Check out the fort! –> https://photos.app.goo.gl/X2BzhbQRTx6BJTEv9
Over the following days, our blankets drooped, pillows moved, and the fort became less habitable. Still, the essence remained. We continued to push couches, adjust sheets, and close entrances, fine-tuning a process of cozifying we started that fateful, post-camping trip morning.
I don’t know if the living room will ever find its resting place. If we will ever figure out the coziest relative location of our clunky couches. But that’s okay. At Tivnu, we build. We build our living room, our life skills, and maybe even some tiny houses if we can ever learn how to measure correctly. At the end of the day, and maybe most importantly, we also build community. I can’t believe I only have 8 months left to build with Tivnu 8. I just arrived, and I miss you all already.