26 April 2007

The Veil

Filed under: Reflections — ktismatics @ 10:59 am

[I previously posted one of our brochures from when we sold our house in Colorado. Here’s the first one in the series — photo by Anne Doyle. For me it evokes heterutopia and apokalypto and the eternal return.]

sconcebottomlit.jpgImagine a part of the world where houses are indistinguishable one from another. (I have been to such places.) Every house the same architectural style, the same color. All the houses on a block run together: it’s not clear where one house ends and the next begins. No street addresses.

Encountering the indistinguishable exteriors, an onlooker is tempted to infer that the occupants of these houses likewise are indistinguishable one from another.

This would be a mistake.

Inside, each house explodes in a riot of diversity. Strange food preparation rituals bring forth delicacies unknown in the bazaars. Harem girls sigh behind perfumed silken curtains, while eunuchs play games of chance for stakes meted out in drams, essences, human souls. Someone writes a history of times that never were in a language that has never been spoken. To one entering such a home no personal favor can be denied, for this visitor has been inside and can never forget.

When the Jews entered the land of promise, their God instructed them to build a tabernacle. Rare and beautiful decorations were to be placed in the tabernacle: purple and scarlet cloth, acacia wood and porpoise skins, altars for burnt offerings and peace offerings, anointing oils and fragrant incense, onyx stones and golden rings. Within the tabernacle God would establish His dwelling place. In His home were placed the Ark of the Covenant, containing the stone tablets brought down from the mountain. The Ark was crowned by the mercy seat, from above which Yahweh had spoken to His people during their long desert sojourn. Ark, tablets, mercy seat – all were to be placed behind a veil, separating the Holy of Holies from the place of meeting. None but the high priest could enter behind the veil and live, so overwhelming was the presence of the Most High.

From outside, the Holy of Holies revealed none of its mysteries. All power and glory were concealed from view, behind the veil.

* * * *

5695 Aurora Place, Boulder

A modest exterior cloaks the mystery residing within.

  • Architectural features and color schemes accentuate the horizontal axis, subtly disguising what is actually the tallest structure on the street.
  • The bumpy texture of the stucco exterior creates a virtually nonreflective surface, a principle embodied in “stealth” technologies for surveillance aircraft and in acoustically optimized sound stages.
  • Taupe — drawing from the palette of the Flatirons and surrounding grasslands, the home camouflages itself without resorting to neutrality.
  • Wood shakes, grandfathered into compliance with code, naturalize the two-level roof line.
  • Positioned at the “back of the sac,” the home is veiled from the onlooking gaze of pedestrians and motorists traversing the through street.
  • All interior spaces are up, back, to the side — concealed from street-level view.
  • Trees shield the front porch from the passing parade; you can see without being seen.
  • Open space in the back — even voyeurs equipped with high-powered telescopes positioned on the other side would find it impossible to verify the presence of nudes in the hot tub.


  1. Hey there. I noticed your website title, “The Veil Ktismatics” does not really reflect the content of your web
    page. When creating your blog title, do you believe it’s best to write it for SEO or for your audience? This is one thing I’ve been struggling with because I want good rankings but at the same time I want
    the best quality for my website visitors.


    Comment by repair shop abbotsford wisconsin — 25 September 2012 @ 7:28 pm

  2. I think it reflects the content well, although the references are sort of oblique. “Ktismatics”, the name of the blog, is a made-up word based on the Greek for “to create,” which is a kind of overall theme, while this post specifically mentions the veil of the temple in Jerusalem, to which I was making a kind of whimsical analogy in my house sales brochure. I don’t know what it means to write for SEO, so I can’t say that I write for it. I suppose I write first for myself, and secondarily for the audience. I have to confess that when I clicked on your link I expected that I would be taken to a website directly related to its name; i.e., an auto repair shop. Imagine my surprise…


    Comment by ktismatics — 25 September 2012 @ 9:13 pm

  3. Hi. I am wondering if you might be interested in doing a website link swap?
    I notice your website: http://ktismatics.wordpress.
    com/2007/04/26/the-veil/ and my blog are centered around
    the same topic. I’d really like to swap links or possibly guest author a article for you. Here is my personal contact: una_coombs@gawab.com. You should contact me if you’re even slightly interested.


    Comment by Una — 26 September 2012 @ 8:49 am

  4. Now, strangely, I click the new link and I wind up looking at an auto repair commercial on Youtube. I’ll keep your gracious offer in mind, Una, but for now I’ll pass on the guest authoring idea. Feel free to add Ktismatics to your blogroll if you like, but as you can see I don’t currently have a blogroll of my own.


    Comment by ktismatics — 26 September 2012 @ 10:01 am

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