Thursday, April 16, 2015

The first tree falls

In the years we were on the land, in the  woods, we never cut a tree. Some fell, and we would harvest the wood for firewood, when we could. (we is a large word there, Paul did the cutting, with a bow saw, and split the wood; I gathered twigs for kindling).

In the past 10 years or so one of the large firs near the cabin died, and about 5 years ago the fire officials warned us that we had to remove it.

Last year we asked around, but no one wanted to cut the tree, fear that it would fall strangely, that it would kill them, etc.

Enter tree dude. Tree dude is a long term book customer who has been a logger and a tree worker since the Summer of Love. Slightly pudgy, Jewish, a solitary and witty man, he lives by himself in the small town to the south of us. Tree dude said he'd be willing to check out the tree last year, but last year there was no money to pay for such a thing.

This year, there is money. And time. And absolute necessity. I talked to tree dude for a long while, and he told me he sometimes refuses to cut trees, not because of fear, but because of love. Some trees need to live. The forest needs to thrive. He's turned down jobs.

Last Sunday he and my eldest son felled the huge dead tree, laying it down gently without hurting anything.

I ran into him yesterday and said "you did an awesome job". "Yes, I did" he said. I asked him about another fir, that I was thinking would have to be removed--it is dripping sap, it might fall, etc. He said "no, that's a healthy tree. It's an anchor tree, well rooted. It will live and grow another 20 years at least, leave it be" I asked about it falling on the new small building. He assured me it would not fall, no worries. But there are other smaller trees he would thin out from the forest, to make it healthier, more robust, and more beautiful.

We'll have to go out together sometime soon.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The dream

No, I'm not speaking metaphorically.
Wanted to record the dream, in which I met my friend V. at her monastery and I tried to hear what she had to say. In the tumult of people around I had trouble listening. I said "it has been a long time, I am not used to your syntax, can we go someplace more private?"

We walked out of the building, across fields and wet ground. I noticed that beneath her robe she wore kitten heeled red paisley shoes, like something from the pre Revolutionary days in France. I didn't ask her about them, but noted that the heels sank into the mud, awkwardly.

I said to her "you wouldn't believe how much we've gotten done at the land" and she looked at me, inquiring. Of course, I said, we hadn't really built anything yet....

We came to the edge of city, and stared between the narrow walls of the start of an alley. And there it ended.

V. was the first on the land, she and my partner built the original 12 by 12. And I can just imagine, in real life, her practical concerns. She said to me back then, "why on earth didn't you marry a plumber?"

P. says they were ever Mary and Martha, with the industrious and talented V. being Martha. Whereas we are definitely Mary and Mary, the babes in the wood, the most cloud headed souls on the planet. But we did raise three children, and we have survived.

And hey, we have done a lot on the land. Step by step.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

actualities and possibilities

Life goes on with all its meetings, the business of running the shop, the care of my youngest, the constant street outreach that my partner calls our sociological emergency room. I've been unable to get to the land for several days, but my partner has gone out whenever he can, continuing the cleanup. As I type he is out there with our oldest son, filling a truck with garbage.

In ten years a lot changes; he reports finding things left under tarps "just for the time being" that have moldered into shapes from some prehistoric movie. Clothing, blankets, unrecognizable detritus. The forest swallows things up. It is a daunting process.

Meanwhile we continue talking of size, position, and what is needed. He worries about enough room for the books; I show him my calculations.

I pin pictures of the most unlikely and lovely interiors to my Pinterest account. Unlikely that we shall have crystal chandeliers. But it is good to notice how much I like them.