Musings from a coffee shop sun splashed window in Lambertville NJ. I spent the night at a friend’s house here. In one week he is starting the move to Prescott, AZ. Which is wild. Because that is where we met, in 1993. He’s on the move now with his family of 4. I am on the move with…me. My camera gear. A head full of poems. A mind packed with coalescing strategies for how to make more online content and films regarding conservation issues. I just wrapped up a 30 year dream of working full time at a ski resort. It was heavenly and worth the wait. As of now I am gainfully unemployed. Roaming. Visiting friends and family up and down the east coast of the USA. That will last most of April. Then in May I embark upon an artist in residency where I will work on nothing else but editing the remaining 10 episodes of a podcast I started 1.5 years ago. Season One of Salmonfolk Radio will finally be out by June. After May, I have no idea of what I will be doing, where I will be living, what income will look like. If most knew how little I had in my bank account, they’d not think me sane for this plan. But life has plans. You know? I have been working 60 hour weeks nearly every week since May 15th. I am a tired boy. Sometimes you have to go with it. There is an open space in front of me and I need that. Everything is pointing in this direction. When that happens you won’t realize the reward unless you trust and go forward. You can’t obliquely trust. It has to be pointed or life isn’t worth it at all. A lot of this is informed by pragmatism. I have been on food stamps. I have been upper middle class. I have been handed huge sums of money. I have asked for money. I have seen fortunes come and go in my life and felt the tide ebb and flow enough to recognize when the tide is coming in. So perhaps this isn’t trusting of me at all. Perhaps I am just surfing this wave in nice and easy.
The last time I was in this coffee shop was in December of 2021. Feels like a decade ago. When here last I had just completed taking care of my father, who has dementia and he had moved into a retirement community. I had my son with me and I was driving him to start his new post pandemic life in NYC. This was all about a year after mom had died of cancer and dementia. I had wrapped up being a full time caretaker for my parents for nearly 2.5 years when last sitting right here.
Now it’s 2023 and that means that I have spent about 18 months free of that. I never thought I would make it out of my caretaking role. And yes, I am working on a book about it. And yes, it’s a worse reality than you are imagining if you haven’t been there yet. Indeed, surviving it and coming out on the other side of it and celebrating being alive again is better yet than anything I have experienced…besides the joy of having kids.
As I get closer to NC, where I used to live and made Bolin Creek Unpaved, the picture frame of my week there is filling in quickly. Things are heating up all over again. The town council (most of them) are hot (so hot!) to pave through Bolin Forest. Yes. In our time of runaway global heating and runaway deforestation…the self anointed environmentalists of Carrboro NC are trying to claim that paving through the forest is literally the best thing for the environment that they can imagine. It’s fucking…just fucking wild. So I have brought my mics, 3 cameras and am already storyboarding. When I am down here I will be teaming up again with old friends and non profits and creating content to help educate the locals. Which is frustrating. It’s honestly bizarre that you have to find a way to explain to your fellow human beings why paving through a forest is bad for the planet…but in this age of disconnection, that’s where we are at as a species somehow.
I will also be premiering Old School Stone while there. OMG. So stoked for that! John, the 84 year old star of that film will be with me in attendance. Or rather…I will be in attendance with him. He is the film. Though this film has conservation themes for sure, the joy of this film is that it’s all about the joy of exploring outdoors. I am not selling an idea. There is no call to action. It’s just pure outdoorsy fun told from a wise man’s perspective. This will mark my 4th feature length film premiere.
John is not young. Neither am I lol. We began filming in 2018. I am grateful that we are both alive for the premiere. Even if it only shows once in front of a live audience, I am grateful to have that chance. So excited!
Well…that’s about it. I am about to hit the road once more. More driving time means more thought time to plan sequences to film along Bolin Creek. More ways to inform the layperson about science in ways that makes them choose things that are good for themselves in this bizarre time of the disappearance of common sense and self preservation.