Art, college, Minnesota, music, Musing, nature, Thoughts, Travels, Writing

Some Things

Morgan,

Book Across the Bay was magical. I was thinking about you, and the way you would’ve loved the yellow candles in the snowy darkness, and the beaming moon and stars. There were thousands of people there, and I felt like I was crossing the Bering Straits in the Great Migration. Terrific.

Anyways, I’ve got loads of work (blah blah. The worst), but I wanted to share with you. I feel as if we remember periods in our lives less by dates and months, but by seasons, smells, and the art–the music, literature, whatever–that we are within.

So here are a couple things I’m in now:

*This beautiful video and song, called “John Wayne” by the Green Little Cars

*On The Road, Jack Kerouac. We’re doing the Beats in my Modern American Lit class. .

“because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a common place thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ” (6)

Now I’m feeling all moody and sad, because these things are so pretty and my work is so boring. Oh well! I hope you had a terrific weekend too. Love love love,

Drew

P.S. I’m still working on your birthday present. At this rate, you’ll have it by your 20th… ah, eventually!

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Architecture, Dreams, nature, the environment, Thoughts

New Obsession: Tree Houses

Morgan, when you were a kid, did you ever go about drawing your “dream house”?

I’m sure we must have had some doodling session and done this together. I can’t count how many times, equipped with a fat magic marker, I sketched out my future abode. The result was always some winding, ramshackle, questionably sound structure, which of course included slides, trampolines, swings and other various play-ground-esque attachments. It was also always airborne, by which I mean, I think I fully intended on living in some abstraction of a tree house.

Wait, that past tense is misleading. I didn’t “fully intend”… I fully intend on living in a tree house.

Why are tree houses so fucking cool? I have no idea, but I also have no idea why I would deny myself the pleasure of living in one as an adult. Who cares about pragmatism, maturity, architectural challenges?  It’s a tree house.

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Let’s face it. All the cool kids in movies and books had tree houses. Magic Tree House series, anyone? Or better yet, the Berenstain Bears.berestainbears_news

(nbd, bears don’t actually live in trees). 

And get this, tree houses can also be super sustainable, because–at least in forest habitats–they allow for development without the clearing of trees. Por ejemplo, the Finca Bellavista Rainforest Village in Costa Rica. Now, I’m not entirely sure what this Village is, but it looks like this:

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Yeah. Craziness. And those are just a few of their plethora of tree houses. On their website (and in this sweet video), Finca Bellavista describes itself as a “sustainable tree house community,” which basically means, they grow 70-80% of their own food, are completely off-the-grid by producing their own energy, and harvest all their water from rain-water collection. Which is really all to say: Morgan, if I takeoff and disappear out of the blue one day, you’ll know where I am.

So can tree houses get any cooler, you ask? Oh wait, yes, they can–because, depending on your local regulations, they may be considered “temporary” structures, similar to garden sheds. Which means they may possibly be exempt from, ahem, zoning laws and taxes. $$ in the bank…. literally.

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Now all I need is a mate to come live with me in my tree house…I can hear my mother now: “Sure, okay Drew, good luck finding a husband to come live with you in a tree house.” (Hey mom, I’m an independent wo-man!) But seriously, how to find such a soul? Well luckily my roommiez and I have crafted  the perfect advertisement to attract such a male.

WANTED: woodsman who enjoys good literature, farming and loose leaf to tea, to live with me in tree house. Let’s have babies and educate them in the ways of the woods. Preferably tall and bearded. Conservatives need not apply. 

Mo, what’s your dream house? If you also share my desire to cohabitate with trees, we should connect our houses via ziplines.

Love, Drew

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nature, poetry, quotes

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

–Wendell Berry

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What a BEAST Wendell Berry is! His poetry is like hot tea on a wintry afternoon. I can only hope some day to have a wikipedia entry that begins as awesomely as his does:

“Wendell Berry (born August 5, 1934) is an American man of letters, academic, cultural and economic critic, and farmer. He is a prolific author of novels, shorts stories, poems and essays.” 

Man of letters? academic? critic? farmer and prolific author? Is there anything this man can’t do? 

Crusader for the family farm, defender of nature, skeptic of technology–in an article for the National Endowment for the Humanities, David Skinner called him “the sum of his beliefs.” Such a simple phrase and yet, how many of us actually are the sum of our beliefs? It is so much more difficult to practice than preach, and more often than not I’m just a head case of hypocrisy. But thank god that, while the rest of us are floundering/striving/questioning, there are folks like Wendell Berry sticking to their guns, guiding the way, and spreading goodness in the worlds, or as he puts it–

“In the dark of the moon, in the flying snow, in the dead of winter, war spreading, families dying, the world in danger, I walk the rocky hillside, sowing clover.” 

You can read more about Berry/his poetry here.

–Drew

The Peace of Wild Things

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