It's 9:00 in the evening on Saturday. I've been out of the house almost the entire day, stopping to see the old growth forest in Seward Park before I returned to my apartment. I've eaten and cleaned up and am now settling in for the night, attempting to tackle again the problem, the thesis. I haven't been reading all the things I promised I would, mostly just short passages, but I'm not ready to dive into something solely design or philosophy orientated so instead I treat myself with starting a book I've wanted to read for a while, "The Final Forest". I've barely read much but I've already thought about enough that I needed to write it down.
You'll need to understand that I've set up this whole mood in anticipation to read this book, I have on my specific socks, thick camp socks from the Olympics. I've lit a cedar incense stick and the scent, the ultimate nostalgic trigger, sends me back to a campfire in the forest. My favorite album, the one I always play when I'm out in the country, is softly filling the room and from my window I can get ever so slight a view of the sun going down behind the Olympics. And as I start to read the authors enamoring description of a forest I feel homesick for, he quietly puts in a line describing our nation as "obsessed with entertainment and escape" and I look around.
Because I am trying to escape, with my apartment garden and natural memorabilia displayed on the walls. I desperately work to create atmospheres to help transport me back to the forest. I've designed my space to let me escape from loneliness to a place where I thrive alone. Rather than sit with my reality I manufacture my "happy place", and I notice in it parallels to the way art has always allowed me to escape. It most likely has layers of ignorance imbedded in it, regardless I'm not willing to let go of it for that. It's a magician's trick (or an emotional crutch) that lets me disappear into imagination.
"Of course the very biggest trees are probably gone, cut generations ago, logged when the stupendous nature of the forest was so commonplace as to make it un-remarkable."
This quote in the book causes a pause for the death of giants, and I'm brought back to ideas of my thesis.
"How might we appreciate the rarity of the commonplace?" "How might we balance progress with conservation?"
And how do we balance our need to escape with nature's need to escape from us?
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