Saturday, September 20, 2008

Return from Camp Wanakita

I spent the week with my school at YMCA Camp Wanakita as part of the Sunship Earth ecological/science program with about 90 Grade sixes. While there, we had to adopt a 'nature name' and make and wear a 'wood cookie' around our neck with the name.

Students chose 'Stick,' 'Tiger,' 'Moose,' or 'Wave.' My handle was 'The Lorax,' after the character in the Dr Seuss book who 'speaks for the trees.' Of course some boys would hit a tree and then say, "So, Lorax, what do you have to say now?" My answer was that they would get a splinter when they least expected it.

Overall though, the kids were happy, full of wonder and delight at nature and camp life, and quite enthusiastic about their experience from campfires, forest exploration to just hanging out. I wrote some music in the few moments of free time that I had. I went for some walks in the forest, where I, luckily didn't run into the bear that some of the students saw, or the cougar that I found out later that we were to watch out for. I recorded the sound of lapping water, woodpeckers, various forest noises, and the kids. Recording helps me hear better what things sound like. I end up imagining what the microphone might be recording -- all the details, unfiltered by the tunnel of my consciousness. I also took the pictures attached to this post of Koshlong Lake. Our cabins were about 30 m from the shoreline. And I wrote the short text below.


You are become a leaf, you may rustle if you wish. A fridge, a beaver, and a library book walk into a planet. Does this sentence make me look fast?

Who would be my customers if I were to bottle sadness, anguish, or custodians?

A forest grows in accordance with the history, geography, jurisprudence, or youth-oriented consumer culture of trees. Does this sentence make me look factual?

A TV show focussed entirely on a single tree: the new fall season. The enlightenment jumped the shark a long time ago. Even as the scurvy waves roved the crenelated ridges of the month, the dark tongue roamed toward the bristling edges of the mouth’s shore.

Faced with the fact of the shoe, the foot would be soon be stumbled on. The short blades of the sky grew between the twisted roots, and I helped my father into his chair. A culture based on sap would be sweet. Does this sentence make me look fictional?

Become a tree in the night, become a sapling, become a branch under the full moon, become kindling in the fire’s whisper. A time-travelling bus would always be late for someone. Does this sentence make me look?

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