Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Timeout! How cool is this?

I've just been notified by the good folks at the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center office in Portland that they have given me their blessing on my proposed project of producing a book as a fundraiser for them!

My idea, in fact this blog is a big part of it, is to write a book about Paul from the view of my 3 years living in Jawbone Flats with him as my neighbor, co-worker and co-conspirator.

The title I chose for the blog comes from my first day at work as one of "the last miners." We were going out for morning donuts. No powdered sugar or chocolate sprinkles... no glazed or jelly-filled, no bearclaws or maple bars... and they didn't have a hole in the middle either. Going out for donuts meant we were firing up the old flatbed and going and cutting some firewood and because the downed trees we were cutting were of such good size the rounds were shaped more like a donut than a short pole. They were heavy and it was raining... it always rains in the winter. And the spring. And in the fall... But they were donuts and they were our donuts. They would become heat for our homes. I swear there could be a book written just about cutting firewood in an old growth forest, about just having to stop working some times and watch. Watch a shaft of sunlight stab through the misty fog or a flurry of snow come sifting down through the old growth's mighty canopy. Beauty surrounded us, the quiet engulfing, inspiring... we'd look at each other and grin... and fire up the chainsaw and get back to work.

Anyway... the book. Paul kept proficient notes. He was one of the most organized men I've ever known. And he amassed pages and pages of notes, journal entries, songs and musings. My hope is to glean some gems from those for insightful (and inciteful) commentary (I'm laughing, you'll have to wait and see what about) from my late friend and couple those excerpts with my photography and a bit of my own writing.

There hasn't been a book about Opal Creek since David Seideman's Showdown at Opal Creek. As good a story as the Opal Creek forest saving is, it should be revisited once and awhile, just as once you've stayed there, you will be called back again. It is a place where the parts far outweigh the sum, where the elan vital is palpable. A place where the beauty can give you goosebumps...

Major props and gracious thanks to Katie Ryan and Tom Atiyeh at the Opal Creek office.
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