Bump context

Bump was a dome. The context relates mostly to the Imagine part of the Trips section (Trips/Imagine) aspect of why this page is under Trips/Imagine/RitualSpaces/lostNfound/EIE/Bump.

In SF, by 1968, I had dropped out and been-in Haight Ashbury, renewing my beatnik credentials as hippie without drugs. In NY by 1972, I had read the Whole Earth Catalog, the Tipi Book, and Domebook II. I was familiar with the back to the land movements and some of the communities.

modelI made a 16" diameter model of Bump from copper wire from directions for the Bamboo Dome in Domebook 2. The scale was 1"=1'. It is a 5/8 sphere.

A student, Sal Siggia, helped me drive cross-country to California in a U-Haul "Adventure in Moving" van. We had my children, my belongings, 20 glass panels sandwiched in foam, a box of aluminum tubes for dome structures, and the goal of finding the cosmic place where I could complete Wholeo, within the broader mission of conscious connecting with my whole self.

On the way in New Mexico, Steve Baer offered to host Wholeo building on his property. I couldn't see how to get around and cope with the extremes of heat and cold.

bamboo domeAt an interim rental in Berkeley, by 1973, for Wholeo I had fashioned tubes into dome struts and put it up with nuts and bolts. Students at an alternative school helped cut bamboo, measure strut lengths and tie them together in a small bamboo dome. For them, learning; for me, proof of concept. (See larger photo, 150 KB.)

From T White I got 10-speed bicycles for myself and son, to become mobile to explore the countryside in search of a site.

I put an ad in a local newspaper, saying I needed a country setting to create a stained glass dome artwork. Ken Falkin from Sonoma county answered the ad, which led to the only path forward that opened for me. He was gathering people in northern California, about 60 miles north of the Bay area for a community. He thought the dome would fit. By coincidence, other Berkeley friends of mine knew the doctor involved in the project, so we drove up to investigate.

I hitchhiked up to the Russian River and worked on the community center in Monte Rio. I considered Wheeler Ranch near Occidental, but it was in peril. By the time I lost my Berkeley rental, I had not found the site I needed.

Larry offered a storage platform for my belongings and a place to camp in the woods. I lived between the plastic-tarp covered stuff and a tent for my two kids. Marveling each morning, waking on my cot outdoors to witness sunlight traveling down the redwood trees. Wondrous. The fresh bright air of May, always sunny and mild, was paradise for me. Luckily it did not rain at all that summer. At a fair I met Rick Miller who had a 130-acre ranch named Harmony. He offered a rental plot with running water - the cosmic building site. Just in time, since Larry's neighbors had complained to authorities about my illegal presence in his woods.

East from Bump

Vegetation screened the site from the private road below. But the perch was open to sun and faced south, with views to the rising sun, moon, and stars to the east (see larger photo), a hill to the north and trees blocking hot afternoon sun to the west. At Harmony, Rick had collected renters, mostly college students from Sonoma State in various cabins and a big house. There was a Tipi and a sauna. And a dome, where a child named Blue was born naturally. People wandered naked when it was hot, buffered with Redwoods, Douglas Firs, Madrones, Manzanitas, meadows and a creek at the bottom. Rick put in the water pipe with my faucet. We wore footpaths down to the road and up to the other dwellings.

I named my ledge Funka Ajar. It became quite a mess. We lived in the middle, with mosquito tent for sleeping, campfire ring for cooking, portable picnic table, shelf with jars for food, the port-a-potty camping toilet. The dome panels and tarp-covered belongings were off in the woods. I began to clear and level the site for two domes: Wholeo, the glass art work to the east, and Bump to live in to the west. I had tools such as shears, shovel, adz, bucket, post hole digger, earth anchors, and rake. Nail pullers helped with recycled lumber. See also a journal entry on a Spiritual Approach to Building.

It was close enough to the public road where the kids caught the Forestville school bus. It was a three-mile bicycle ride for groceries, laundry, and mail. Also in town was my sister, who drove on shopping trips to Santa Rosa and had a house. She was great comfort, without whom I never would have made it. Here's cheers and thanks to you Mary Ellen, who at that time was Mel, strangely having used her initials as a name, unknowingly and coincidentally the same as my ex-husband. Her ex-husband was named T (for Terrence).

The big breakthroughs in civilization were the cookstove and the kerosene lanterns for cooking, heat, and light at night. I finished Bump just in time to avoid two problems. Rain and cold came in the fall. Also Rick, my landlord objected to my household spread out over the hillside inharmoniously with all its funky jars. Using his catalog source, I got erosion control seeds to hold the raw banks of soil displaced in leveling the site.

By October when torrents of rain washed down, everything was stowed neatly in the 16' 5/8 dome, Wholeo was up ready to go, the plants had sprung through the burlap, with wild flowers even, and life was good. Cosmic connection was live and well.

During building, I used a push drill for tap holes for nails and screws in mostly scrounged lumber. All hand tools. Rick gave me some big 2x6" boards, which I carried one by one downhill to make two terraced levels for the Bump floor. Four uprights held the retaining boards in place. Bump's footprint was on the downhill drainage slope. I dug a ditch behind it and underlaid my particle board floor with heavy black plastic.

My bed was atop between the uprights, under the skylight with view of stars. One day from this perch we lounged and watched a big ringed snake cross the bank behind the dome. Level one was below the dome perimeter and had its own door to the storage shelves, mostly jars and tins of food. Mice got into it anyway. Level two had the cook stove close to the door and living space under the bed. To the side was a play area, desk, and bunk bed for OMlulu. She had an easel for painting and a bar for swinging and acrobatics. A ladder led up to her bed and then a step across space to the ladder to mine. Level three was the stained glass studio with work table, filing cabinets, glass sample window for natural light color choices and a clothes rack made of five saplings wired together. See more info about Bump's physique.

I drank a glass of wine each afternoon as I leaded and puttied panels, using a propane torch for soldering. (See the jugs as bottles of water.) I tuned in the radio for rock and roll and Watergate news. On nice days I worked outside where the tent used to be. I took up hatha yoga from a "Yoga in 30 days" book borrowed from sister. She gave me Being of the Sun, by Alicia Bay Laurel and Ramon Sender (from nearby Wheeler's Ranch) which became my constant inspiration and coloring book for my daughter.

My chores were to dig compost holes for the toilet contents and gather wood for our stove with an ax, bow saw, and chisel for splitting. The insulated dome took very little heat beyond cooking and was always snug. Well, except for the leaks. Have you ever experienced "wet-patch"? It is fibrous tar in a can, to patch leaks even in the rain. That is when you find the leak and need it most. Everything I owned was touched with this precious black substance. Bump from eastThe second year, before the fall rains, I draped Bump with a single plastic tarp. Even with holes for windows and doors, it didn't leak, which I guess would count as the third great revolution of civilization.

Nothing was stolen or vandalized. I felt secure in opening to the cosmos without locks. Truly I am eternally grateful for being able to build and live in Bump.

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