Some might call it a shack, but it does have both a porch and a deck. This summer I felt like the deck was the deck of a boat. It angles and widens out, so you naturally walk out to the “prow” to look out into the woods. There’s no clear transition between the domestic home and the wild wood. The house itself is even a little wild (more on that later). If you lean down and look over the rail from the prow of the deck it’s like looking into the ocean. There’s a safety in staying on deck. If you step off your foot falls onto the cushion of the woodland floor, with it’s moss and leaves. There’s no lawn, no clear path. The trees are thinned a bit for the first twenty feet, but the density increase imperceptibly. The deck was a great stopping point for me. In my contraction from life I came to notice exactly where my boundaries were at all times, and the deck was one of them. To step off meant to enter the real world, the woods and all their unpredictability. I never did walk the property this summer. The farthest I went in my timid treading was the big rock just down from the sleeping porch of the bunkhouse (the addition that you reach by walking the planks off the deck). I was keenly aware of the unevenness of the ground, each snapping twig, every plant that brushed my bare leg. When I got to the rock I stood there for a few minutes, as if I’d swum there and needed to stay put. I looked back at the house, my boat, and debated about whether I should go back to safety, or explore a little more. And it’s not that I feel unsafe in the woods themselves. My insecurity is purely manufactured in my mind, and it adjusts itself for any situation. The woods are fine, but I’m not. I go back to the house, to my tiny world. I don’t walk to the wall, I don’t walk to the chairs I spent over a year obsessing about to see how much is left of their broken frames. I deny myself these openings into life. I’m typing this in near darkness at the small table on the sleeping porch. If I look to my right I look over and up just a little to the window-filled south wall of my mother’s masterpiece as it floats above the forest floor, it’s deck jutting out toward me in my little screened in box. It’s raining, and the sound is wonderful. It’s so dark I can barely make out the trees, but I hear the rain on their leaves all around me. I’m dry, at a desk, with the computer screen glowing, but the sound of the rain is reminding me.
(9/17/04 7:09 PM)
Issue #1: stories, ephemera, photos
Issue #2: thin veneer story/photos, gee v.
Issue #3:The New Hampshire Issue