Thursday, May 24, 2012

have you thought about the legacy you will be leaving!

the sudden death of suzanne monaco on the streets of san francisco (see: in loving memory of suzanne on facebook  ) has changed my long-held view of dying. always before, i've thought about the pain of the moment, the quick or the drawn-out. that has been my image: cancer and a hospital bed, a fall from a cliff with time to think on the way down. but what if i don't feel a thing? get hit by a truck like suzanne, merely crossing a street? or exiting in my sleep in the midst of a dream? 

what has hit me: we're here and then we're not. you'll be talking with me one minute, the next minute to an empty chair. that's the reality. we exist for ourselves and the world, then we go back to the time before we were born, an open window with a view of clouds.  bit by bit, any memory of me transforms into something else: a word, a drawing, a photograph fading in your hand. and after a generation, forget it, as i've been forgotten.

this has me thinking about projects which fill the vacant space i leave. for example, i'm back at the fire tower in the midst of a game refuge. trouble is, the birds have fled, the coyotes vanished, the bear an orphan, no little cottontails to be seen. compared to 28 years ago, it's a desert without wildlife. hawks don't plunge through the trees, cougars don't leave tracks, and even the vultures have deserted me. 

for all that, i know a bit of the wild world can be restored. thus, i'm trying to drum up interest, asking help from a biologist friend, talking with the district ranger. amazing how much resistance you will meet! i don't mean in these people, rather in general, since few people want to be bothered. no one seems immediately open to the idea of change to change. in other words, most of us would rather shrug our shoulders and exclaim, 'it's inevitable.'

last time i wrote about establishing a museum of modern art in my home town, taking the ribs of a $18 million dollar parking garage and making something significant. at present, this is a fantasy. i've been encouraging friends to take pictures of the structure as it stands now so the kitsch can be ripped off later and it's rightful use be restored. i certainly won't see this in my lifetime! i can put the idea out there, sow a few seeds. 

let's see, the co-housing community where i've lived for nine of the last eleven years going through the throws of re-birth. many of the original people gone, a number of houses up for sale, a large section of the community renting. how to cope with the situation? basically, i've been throwing out easy solutions. i've told them, 'simplify, simply' even though i know this is the last place henry david thoreau would like to live!

i think there's something else. ah, yes, the blue room theatre . a new artistic director has arrived. this summer, he'll be replenishing the coffers with programs for children, at which he is an expert with a track-record. i'm looking forward to taking more pictures. and it would be great if his spirit jived with mine and we did some plays i've written before i kick the bucket. 

being an idea guy and not a handyman, i'm in a better position on top of a mountain to inspire others to put their shoulders to the wheel. and before leaving town i had a great time at the chico observatory watching the annular eclipse through welding goggles which turned everything green:

oops, i forgot another life-long project: watching over the forest for fifty hears. hmm, that seems to have been all too easy.