Friday, May 28, 2010

thoughts moldering in a forest

Hiking in the woods is a tonic for the imagination, especially when coming across signs of some long-ago enterprise moldering back into the forest floor.  Something that didn't work out after all? Or had served its purpose, and time moved on?  It's said that the natural condition of the earth, at least in temperate climates, is to be covered with forest.  Perhaps if we don't irreversibly decimate the natural process--through global warming, air pollution, and such--and leave gracefully when our time is done, the forest will once again take over, swallow up our temporary artifacts, and restore the land.

The sketch is of a derelict truck,  a Willys Overland, circa 1929 -1932 (I owned a Willys 1932 sedan once, long ago).  I'd noticed the truck many times, half-hidden in the trees and shrubs, as I drove past on one of our county roads.  There are no buildings visible in the area.  Judging by the utility boxes on the back of the truck, it might have been some sort of repair/service vehicle, perhaps serving the logging companies that once operated here before the industry went into decline.

I searched my disorganized files for a few photos of old, abandoned timber sawmills, and nearby workers' houses, which I'd come across while working on two earth dams in northern California forests, but the photos remain hidden away somewhere.  The memories of seeing those relics,  closed chapters of other forgotten stories, came to mind as I sat sketching this truck.

Gathering such woolly material for stories is always part of the process, but it needs writing, too.

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