Marshmallows, money, life, and logs

Been chatting to Bede a lot more on these drives in. He has a quiet, charming spirit, but he’s hinted several times that his life hasn’t been all that he once hoped. I’ll long remember what he told me about he and his wife deciding, when they had their first child, that they would become camping people. They bought all the gear, tried several times over the years with first one and soon several children, but never managed to really enjoy camping. Bought better gizmos, a bigger tent, but that they languish in the garage, almost never used.

Thinking about delayed gratification. I’ve long known that I’m an almost prototypical marshmallow experiment failure, but I’m not sure that’s so catastrophic an indictment as I used to think. I still wish to be better able to resist my constant urge to eat, but I know that I possess a greater-than-average ability to delay gratification when it comes to spending money. My discipline is not evenly distributed, but it is there at least.

Moved by The Life of One Den written (of course) by Craig Mod. The quiet passion of Den is what I aspire to.

Time spent in the orbit of a Den triggers a voice in the back of the mind: Ah, that’s what we felt along the road, elsewhere; some element of his universal inquisitiveness, his openness, his desire to bond. Amidst it all, a map for how to see and be seen with the very kindness Den himself holds — and has held — for his entire, inspiring life.

The description of the Hori locks in the same piece refreshed my appreciation for truly fine things, the Platonic ideal of a thing. I dream of building, I want to build progressively smaller and finer things, until at last I can build my finest things, my own home, full (but not overfull), with all those fine things. Who knows where it will be.

I want to live such that every year of my life is the richest, fullest year I’ve yet lived, and every year thereafter is fuller and finer still. Belief is a flimsy thing, so I’ll not believe in it until it is proven, instead I will find ways, actions to bring this hope into the real. I anticipate that new strategies will be required for each year.

Conceptually I think my favourite place to be is at the back of a fast moving train… even though practically speaking that wouldn’t excite me in the least.

Try to always give the most useful possible answer. Not the answer that makes you feel good, not the one that makes you look the smartest. I struggle with this. Advice for myself

“So what you’re saying is you sometimes use ‘we’ to make your arguments sound more convincing.” Louis’ reflection on my use of we has had a lasting impact on me and my relationship with language.

Networks route around damage

A healthy system of notes is one that grows and (more importantly) produces, not merely engaging in the meta activity of thinking about its own nature (note taking), I’ve certainly been guilty of that. My notes should be generative. Not this though, this is just my journal.

Notes as a forest, developed in cycles (seasons), self pruning (shed leaves and even branches) Self seeding too: sure occasionally a lone tree will establish itself, carried far by the wind, but the forest grows outwards from established trees.

There’s a crew of three needed on the west coast next week, spot spraying ahead of native planting. Dean doesn’t want to put up with Shay and the rest so he’s just gonna take Tom and I, throwing everyone else on cone collecting. We might take Steve as well, his back doesn’t agree with the cone collecting. Being honest, it’s pretty gratifying to hear that he’d rather take me, even though it means putting the whole wilding operation on pause, than take anyone else.

Took the chainsaw to work today, Dean had his saw too (a slick and well sharpened Husqevarna). We carved up a big Douglas log that has been tempting us for too long. Strictly speaking we’re forbidden to use saws on the site, but when such a good tree has been doomed to rot by careless fellers… what else could we do?

What the heck are we doing? Like, it’s awesome, and I’m so glad we’re doing it, but who lives like this? This has been a mad week. The last pieces of the puzzle are coming together tonight. We drove (me in my truck, Mizuki in Bhaji) up the Left Branch of the Wairoa river to drop the truck at the furthest accessible point of the gravel road. Bhaji doesn’t take to the stones quite so gamely as Chappie does but both made it just fine. If all goes according to plan, we should reach Chappie again on Monday evening after four and a bit days in and over the Richmond’s. We’re to start at the Hackett, up the Aniseed Valley straight after work tomorrow.