Friday, December 1, 2006

In the beginning



I live at the end of the earth. I say the end of the earth, but what is the end of a sphere but a point on its surface. In reality I’m not that removed from the dead center of North America, trust me, it qualifies as an end. Two roads enter this little community (I'll call it Axe) and both end within the confines of the town I call home. If you flew north the two thousand miles required to reach the Arctic Ocean you would cross but one paved road. Despite our isolation in the center of the continent, you could put a canoe in the lake on the edge of town and cross fewer than thirty portages to reach an ocean, a lot of water, but not much in the way of land. If you wish to drive to Axe count on retracing your route when you leave. Of course you could choose the other road out of town, but if your destination lies at the end of that road, your stop in Axe was a detour, not a furthering of your journey.
Like a lot of others I come to Axe to hide; what else is there to do at the end of the earth. A little town on the edge of the wild, at the margins of the boreal forest, or in reality the last great uncut chunk of the southern boreal wood lands, the beginning of the North American Tagia, the last piece of wild country yet unroaded and unsawn. Wild that was relentlessly destroyed and pursued until what little was left was legislated and preserved as wilds, not as evidence of a great enemy vanquished and penned but as a sort of rustic amusement park, a relief from the very speed and activity that was laid down in its place.
Forgive me, I digress. But it is in my nature to digress. I am a forty five year old child, a drifter with a nose for what’s out of place. A loner and an insomniac (excuse me should I say sleep-challenged), prone to waking in the wee hours desperate to feel the passage of ground beneath my feet.
I am hiding from the world, or more directly hiding from what we are doing to our world. Back in the day when I had faith I led myself to believe that man was not a cancer choking the planet so much as an organism developed by the Earth in an attempt to retrieve all that carbon trapped in rock, rendered inaccessible by the slow shifting of the planet. That this poisonous civilization was just an unfortunate by product of Earth’s need to recycle carbon. But I had faith then. Now I see it as just a matter of progress, and progress is heading in a direction I don’t particularly like. I just can’t stomach it. To stand still and feel it die around me, to use such directed unconsciousness to participate in its death. To see with such certainty it’s doom. The only comfort I can conceive is to live within reach of it’s dying touch, to feel the illusion of its life, and its power.

1 comment:

M said...

I cannot wait to continue on your journey.