Sunday, December 6, 2009

Between visits to Maine and a book review

I spend most of my time on Cape Cod. This is where I work and dwell with my wife-to-be and our three cats. It is a beautiful place with many interesting resident characters. But my emotional view of it has changed since moving here from New York City three years ago. Since beginning the construction of my house sculpture, the Cape has become a sort of purgatory where I kill time before my next trip to Maine. It sounds harsh to call such a beautiful place as Cape Cod "purgatory". Cape Cod is a natural paradise and within it's local population reside many fine old souls. Even so, it is next to impossible for a person of the working class to own even a very small piece of this place. The Cape and it's beauty is so well known that many wealthy people have bought up most of the property. Their willingness to pay any amount to own a vacation home here has driven property values into a realm that only someone earning a six figure salary can afford. There are no jobs that pay that kind of money on the outer Cape. Therefore most of the property owners go back to where their jobs are and leave their homes vacant for the remaining 50 or so weeks of the year. The locals are forced to live in small overpriced apartments and/or must move every spring and fall to make room for the more wealthy summer residents or vacationers. It's nice to live here but not an easy place to live or raise a family and no place for a person with my dreams. I have very large and very silly dreams. My kind of dreams could not be accomplished on the Cape even if I did have a great deal of money. This place is far too regimented and restrictive for such silliness.
Maine is the place for me! I can build whatever I want as long as I don't violate any of the simple environmental regulations. That's fair. A person should not destroy the world around them in order to accomplish their dreams. That is God's privilege. But I can build my own house however funky I wish. Awesome. Another thing I've wanted is a tree house. Maybe I'll build that next. And a race track so that I can have demolition or enduro races in old jalopies with my friends. I want a zip line that spans 10 acres. I want to build a self sufficient home; one in which I could produce my own food, heat and energy. All these things are possible with my Maine property, not Cape Cod. These are my dreams... and what is that thing called in which a soul is barred from trying to accomplish his dreams? What is the name of a place like that?
Remember The Prisoner? Remember #6 and the pretty Village where he lived? There is nothing I loath more than a prison. I hate the sort of place where only the rich are allowed to seek and accomplish their dreams; and what boring dreams have they got anyway? To have more money or more kids? A bigger house? The latest model of the newest Fuckmobile? Fuck that!

Now that I have those thoughts out of the way I'd like to get to my book review. I recently finished reading a Cape Cod classic: The Outermost House by Henry Beston. Many local Cape Codders are familiar with this story of a man who in 1925 buys 50 acres off coastguard beach in Eastham. He has a small cottage built on the dunes over looking the beach and spends a year living in it. All the while he observes the nature that surrounds him. It's the sort of adventure I would like to have, though I think that I would become very lonely after so much time alone. Beston's prose is beautiful and descriptive. His observations of nature, from his vantage point are fantastic. Nature is such a star that it almost completely out shines his own experience of it. Occasionally he draws contrasts of nature in the context of the modern world of humans but rarely inserts his own opinion. With such keen observations I wanted to know more about what he was thinking and what his emotional experience was. However, if you like birds you will love this book. Beston is utterly and completely gay for birds. They are the most closely followed characters in this narrative! With my limited interest in birds, I really had to push through to get to the end. I became bored with the birds. The prose, however make it worth the read.
It is yet another dream of mine to do as Henry Beston did. I was especially curious how he managed to afford to be unemployed for a year and how his fiance' reacted to this idea of his. My girl would not be happy at all. Not at all.
I have spent up to two weeks in my own little fo'castle in Maine, but I start to get stir crazy. I become very run-down, tired, depressed and most of all lonely. Of course, my goals and experiences are different than Beston's, and I am living within a construction zone. I tend to spend much of my artistic capitol when I am there. I feel such an overwhelming urgency to make this house a home that I work nonstop, scarcely breaking for food or rest during each 12-14 hour workday. I find it impossible to rest. At the the end of two weeks I am exhausted and just want to return to the warmth of my Girl and indoor plumbing. However, a hot shower never felt so good!

1 comment:

  1. Have read this top to bottom...It's awesome...good for you! Looking forward to the next update...I'm in Wellfleet as well and understand totally what your saying.....