We all seem to need a change of scenery this week. In school, the nuns taught us about the idea of a Poustinia and suggested we each carve out such a physical place for ourselves. I didn't realize it at the time, but it's a term they appropriated from the Russian Orthodox tradition, meaning a sparsely-furnished cabin or place to pray and fast. Though my craving isn't a theological one, I could do with some old-fashioned escapism. And that idea of communing with nature appeals right now. I've been city-locked for too long.

I've been thinking a lot about my trip home in May. Fun as it will be to frequent the old haunts in Dublin and to catch up with friends, I've been lusting after a retreat from all the bustle and finding a Poustinia somewhere on the west coast. This residential house by MacGabhann Architects would be perfect. A good place to gaze and stroll and swim and think and scribble.

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