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Month: October 2008

There’s a man going around taking names

Ruby, September 2008

I’m finally back to work and listening to Johnny Cash again. I don’t know, the two seem inseparable, a kindred toil and * you for asking.  Whiskey will be along directly. I need a tee shirt with the image of Cash giving the bird, just letting it fly,  like he started uncoiling the gesture at birth. Oddly, the gesture has always seemed more confiding than confrontational, more welcoming than exclusionary.

It is really, really kicking my ass this time around. Work that is, not the Man in Black. There are two of us, both 40+, framing a 3000 sq ft house. I’ve lost 20  lbs in 2 weeks and I wasn’t fat to begin with. But it is truly a relief to be back to work. Sleep comes under a new gospel, a weightless deep grave that tips the elements and upends the cosmos. Life is simpler when you’re exhausted, and it’s all too easy to see salvation in the rafters.

Whoever is filthy, let him be filthy still.

It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks
In measured hundred weight and penny pound
When the Man comes around.

Inevitability training

Crescent Bay, November 2006

Oof, my scanner is down again. More literal snaps from the archives.

This was taken after a monumental (for us) 16″ snowfall several years ago. Not as much snow down at sea-level, but we are about 350 feet above this and got buried. This was a November just months after I finished building the 5×12 camera and one of the first hikes of significance I took it on. I was fortunate in finally finding a backpack where everything fit very well, with a decent harness for the 40+ lbs. Still, fully outfitted with boots and tripod I’m around 300lbs and tend to settle in the deeper stuff. It’s a 3 mile round-trip down to Crescent Beach and back. But it was a good way to stay warm, as out power was out most of that week.

Shoveling snow is of course another proven method. Earlier, I’d climbed up and shoveled off the roof instead of the driveway to the amusement of wife and neighbor alike. I was worried about 14-16 inches of snow half melting and turning to ice and collapsing the 4/12 pitch roof. Not much point in clearing the driveway as we wouldn’t start to see snow plows for a few days yet.

Yet another method to keep warm is sawing firewood from rock maple and oak woodscraps with a thin dozuki saw. As it was mostly too cold to sleep, I’d get up at 4 AM some mornings and dig out the firepit and build a fire with whatever scraps I could spare. I’m glad the camera was finished at that point or I might have been tempted to burn it.

All good prep for the upcoming… winter. I am attempting some preliminary leanness in good faith, but am irrevocably soft in spots. Which tends to take the poetry out of such withered optimism.