Thursday, January 08, 2004



Japanese folks out in the country are so in tune with all the things there are out here to be in tune with, the details are frequently disconcerting to a city boy. As, for example, the other morning down in the "firewood dump" as I call it, the place I mentioned in a much earlier post (whose link I can't find), where all the farmers (and thus landscapers) go to toss their woody detritus where it will either go where all organic detritus goes-- slowly back into the big cycle-- or be picked up by a new and radical group, the Free Firewood Gatherers, whence it will go more quickly back into the big cycle.

Since the site is a few hundred meters down mountain from me (take a right just past the tunnel), each time I go by there I try to remember to check it out with a quick and practiced glance sideways. Said other morning, as we were on our way out to do some long errands, I spotted a new and very goodlooking bunch of wood there (one acquires a fast sense about these things, fine-tuned in my case by my year of scavenging in the Berkeley landfill, to which I referred in a post called Morning Lace, whose link I can find); might even be buna (beech).

It looked so good I was afraid it would be gone before I got back but it wasn't, turned out it was in fact buna, an excellent firewood. What's more, the farmer had tied it all up in neat bundles with straw rope!! Just to throw away!! Or perhaps for the convenience of firewood scavengers like myself? In any case it was a beautiful and touching thing to behold, all that fine wood lying there, tied up so neatly and time-consumingly, simply to be given back to the world; there was a folksy beauty to it that I still haven't had the heart to untie, though it's all in my woodpile now, where it was all the more easy to stack for having been so considerately arranged and stoutly bound. Except for two big trunkchunks that I'll have to go get later with the chainsaw, if another woodster doesn't beat me to it (we do move fast when there's goodwood to be had). And from the melodic tonality of all that fine, rockhard buna as I tossed it all together on the pile for later arrangement, with a little more work than usual it would make a very big and damn fine marimba.

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