Idyllwild Idyll from Rick Meghiddo on Vimeo.
The planets were aligned in an uncommonly rare position: a. architect John Lautner‘s Pearlman cabin in Idyllwild was scheduled to be open to the public on Labor Day, September 4; b. it coincided with our anniversary; c. we had not been in Idyllwild for about fifteen years; d. we didn’t have a real vacation for a very long time; e. an organic architect from New Zeland, Peter Crenwell, whom I “discovered” while doing research for “The Wright Way,” wrote me that he had a friend living in Idyllwild, Michael Newberry, a painter.
It took us minutes to decide that the time was right for “time out.” I checked for availability at the place we used to go when our daughter was a young girl. We liked it because it was simple and it had a large glazed wall which allowed us to see a forest as soon as we opened our eyes in the morning. I made a reservation for four days of “idyll.”
We did not have any program other than walking through nature and filming without a script, visiting the Lautner’s cabin, and meeting with Michael Newberry. In slightly over two-hour drive from home, we were at an altitude of 6,000 feet. For a mid-summer day, the temperature was about 75 F at noon. The air was clean. The horizon was wide and deep.
Idyllwild has not changed much since we first came to it about thirty years ago, to spend a couple of weeks taking classes at I.S.O.M.A.T.A ., now called Idyllwild Arts. A place that attracted artists and “city refugees,” Idyllwild seemed to send a message of lifestyle simplicity in contact with nature, for a planet that can not sustain the on-going consumeristic alienation of the developed world. In some ways, the Pearlman cabin represented that kind of vision for the future with creative simplicity.
Getting in touch with nature is a good way of going back to fundamentals delivered by boulders and trees: life and death, change, the nature of materials, gravity, light and shadow, adaptation and wise economy of form.
Rick, It was delightful to revisit Idyllwild through your eyes this morning. It is one of my favorite California get-away places. To see it after the hurricanes and floods is reassuring.