July 26, 2006

"Camp" and American Society

So we're in the process of moving - sure it's just across campus, but in a way it's an extension of the move we made a year ago when we came on campus.

I find my self repulsed by the amount of stuff that we have. The duplicate stuff, the stuff we moved because we didn't have time to sort and throw out some of it, the random stuff we got from so - and - so and we can't bear to part with (or actually use), the stuff we don't need now, but anticipate needing in the future.

Being up on Burleigh made me think of the oposite of this. There isn't much 'stuff' there. Mostly certain tools for certain jobs. Sure nobody lives there, but you certainly could pretty easily. In fact when I'm up to my elbows in bins of outdoor clothes I haven't worn in 5 years but can't bear to part with - living on Burleigh sounds pretty good.

My wife's family has a camp up in Maine. It's rustic, no power, no water, wood heat. But everyone loves it. It's the ultimate base camp - near the lake & trails, comfortable, but not too much so, full of tradition and care and love and worn edges. And very little stuff.

America is founded on ideals, but the execution of these ideals seems to get a little messy some times. Take our emphasis on defining ourselves by our clothes, ipod, accessories etc - rather than what we actually do, create, feel.

If Burleigh Mountain and 'Camps' everywhere are alive, and providing respite for stuff-weary souls, maybe we're going to be okay.

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