I mention this first because it not only establishes a pretty important dimension to any relationship I'd have, but because it shows that I'm a strong person who is also caring and compassionate and has a sense of duty. It also shows that I am earnest about being a good father and man, and that I'm a person who can be counted on.
Anyway, my story is that I devoted six years studying philosophy in college, and was blessed to do philosophy with many fellow travelers who challenged me beyond what I thought possible, and continued together for many years afterward. After college I worked as a sawyer on fire crews in the summer, while spending my winters studying and writing and the springtime living on small farms.
I love working hard, outside and with my hands. I tried to get a normal job and return to suburbia after my daughter came along, but I couldn't do it. I don't know how anyone could do it! Nthing's better than a good days work for me, especially if I have good friends to come home to.
At the same time I'm an incurable intellectual, and the (literally) thousands of hours I've spent reading philosophy books inevitably enters into everything I do. I can't help it, and the only way I was able to cure myself of an incessant need to analyze everything was to take a step further into the religious dimension of existence. I've had a few really direct experience of where the limits of our overclocked monkey brain are reached, and there is the divine. This experience changed me, and its something that I want to share with everyone I meet.
The focus of all my efforts now, aside from caring for my daughter, is working to start a community. I spent a lot of time living on small farms, and since college I've been networking with my best friend from college, and some of our mutual friends who were fellow thinkers. Together we will soon have substantial savings and a solid base of knowledge with which to buy tools and land to turn into an open invitation, open source free school called the thinkery.
The thinkery is hard to describe quickly, but its basically where the living conversation of thinking is continued in the midst of a community that is devoted to education in the mastery of crafts, trades, and skills. the thinkery will try to provide a place where people can share knowledge in practical skills by working together on projects as teachers and fellow students, and by sharing tools and labor. It strives to reteach people how to create the things that populate their lives in cooperation with other people. It also will teach clear thinking so as to aide in the creation excellent human beings, with clear thinking being necessary in this regard.
I'm looking for a woman who would be able to treat my daughter as her own, and loves being around children. Someone who is strong and capable, and could share my dreaming of having a community. A woman who works hard and has goals, but isn't driven to succeed in the sense of success that is the "way of the world." A woman who is able to forgo comfort and ease and face hard times, even, if it means working alongside each other for what we think is right. Having to care for Maria has made me appreciate how amazing and important motherhood is, and I would hope to be with somebody who embraces this side of womanhood.
When I was a young man I wanted to be a philosophy professor, but the past years with those young men and women gave me an opportunity to teach far greater than standing up in front of a bunch of sleeping freshmen blowing hot air. I was a pretty cool crew leader too, if I do say so myself; I was fair and a really good teacher and worked really hard. I also could play the part of a stand-up comedian, or a hard-ass lunatic, when the script called for it. It was so much fun! The transformation I see in my folks over the season is amazing.
I'm also wrapping up my other employment for the season, which was teaching wildland fire chain saw classes. This was also great fun, and a great opportunity to teach.
Right now I'm living in a small community near Berthoud. I was originally invited out here as just a caretaker of a small property, and to do some construction work in exchange for rent; but I started talking about some of the ideas I had for community, gardening, and natural building and the lady who brought me in to do the work found these ideas were similar to what she envisioned for the place. So she gave me free reign to start testing things and inviting people to come live out here and have a small community. I'm also living here with my daughter and caring for her full time.
I'm also working a lot with my mom's husband to put up a sixty foot wind tower on their property, and working to rennovate an outbuilding and turn it into a small apartment. And its brewing season, so I'm starting to plan out the next brew. My brewing motto is: taste the beer not the hops. I've started experimenting with spicing my brews with stuff other than hops. This past Spring I made a sage porter that was pretty good. Not great but pretty good.
My ultimate goal in all of this is to continually put into practice a radical new approach to education; I am working along side a group of friends to move out to Oregon and begin a project we call the Thinkery. the idea of the Thinkery started out as a somewhat utopian vision for a philosophy school that could be self-sufficient and not charge tuition by building itself up and sustaining itself by permaculture and natural building practices. From there the idea became more about how philosophy could inform these practices, and how philosophy too could be changed in its course of thinking by an experience with the creation and sustenance of a community. Now the idea has changed some more from this, and our goal is to start out in Oregon by first integrating ourselves into existing skill-sharing and cooperative networks. We can slowly building up mastery in ourselves of practical skills, while continuing to invite people into the living conversation that is our particular path as thinkers.
I like Star Trek: The Next Generation. I consider it to be the golden age of television.
I listen to Buckethead, Andrew Bird, The Presidents, Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Jethro Tull. Many others.
I also try to read a bit, though much less than I used to; I still pull out Deleuze and Guattari's Thousand Plateaus and Anti-Oedipus when I get the chance. I also read the Bible. My favorite writers during my philosophic development were Heidegger, especially his later works, as well as Deleuze, Feuerbach, Schopenhauer and Ortega. I'm reading a book on yurts now, an don on lime plaster.
My free time for much of this year was devoted to building a large, super-efficient wood stove called a rocket mass heater. Now that the stove is mostly done, I have to plaster over it to seal it and protect the material its made out of. So I've been thinking a lot about lime plaster, as it is the best choice; however, lime plaster is a difficult process to master, and it has all but died out as a practice so there aren't many avenues to learning it that don't include a lot of thinking things through on your own and messing up a few times. now that I have some experience with the stove and with natural building techniques, I've started thinking a lot about new stove designs, and ways to incorporate the ruins of industrial society into functional buildings.