After a week’s worth of Sturm und Drang, we got the happy news this morning that we may begin painting again – our choice of black for the trim has been approved by the Architectural Committee — so we find ourselves relieved to feel we’re no longer going to the dogs but rather good to go! Truthfully, it will take some time to put this whole unhappy episode fully behind us, but we mean to take heart from the notion that “You can’t keep a good man/woman (project!) down.”
Initially rejected by the Architectural Committee, the black paint was decreed to be too bold (“shocking,” in fact), too much in contrast with the natural environment that enfolds the community. I will readily admit that at the moment, because the house is sheathed in white Tyvek, the black does appear rather stark at first glance. But the picture won’t be complete until the siding is put in place [the dogs were barking up the wrong tree]: the relative value of the black will be aptly matched by the brown of the cedar shingles, bringing the house as a whole into harmonious balance. Moreover, there actually IS no contrast in black with the environment except of one that has the effect of enhancement:
Black is a good foil for green.
In a garden or against natural surroundings, black will recede
and focus attention instead on green foliage.
Thankfully, with a concerted effort on my part, I was able to convince the Architectural Committee that my choice of black for the trim was based on qualifications of good design and was meant to contribute to the greater good of the community, in keeping with the committee’s guidelines and standards. We’re another step closer to making ourselves at home in Acorn Lodge, our little brown nut sitting prettily among the oaks.
I’ve long taken the following as my own personal set of guidelines and standards:
To laugh often and love much;
to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children;
to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to give of one’s self;
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived . . .
this is to have succeeded.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
And so the transgressions of misguided neighbors will be forgiven, hope is restored in my heart, and I find myself grateful for the opportunity to rededicate myself to my ideals — it occurs to me that we are not merely building a home, but continuing to build character in ourselves in the bargain!