In a moment like this, when I sit where I have sat for almost ten years, writing to the universal You rather than the specific you whose attention I share via words, well…
I’d rather not sit here but, for the sake of a lifelong narrative, I do.
I sit and I think.
I stood in the treehouse as the woods darkened, listening to the sounds of the outskirts of Huntsville, Alabama, the buzzing traffic including revved up engines, the barking dogs, insects…and I thought of you.
I wondered about our species, why we turn on each other like starving, savage beasts, attacking unmercilessly while at the same time showing love, care and concern selflessly.
Despite all our medical advances, we grow old and/or die.
At 54 years of age, I look at my hands and face, seeing the 54-year old and I celebrate my half century plus life with joy.
I am pretty healthy, no major complaints about my body conditions. Sure, I am nearly deaf in my left ear and have lost 40 percent of hearing in my right ear but that’s just a part of my being human.
I can still read and write, thanks to LASIK surgery.
The treehouse that I planned to build is nearly done — one roof panel and some clear pane walls to keep the major rainfall out and I’ll declare the project finished — a place for up to five people (preferably very small and/or lightweight) to stand and look around, even room for a kerosene heater (preferably at very low heat). I’ll stick a plastic chair and an LED lantern up there after the roof/walls are done so a person could sit and write as it grows dark, assuming the attraction of insects isn’t too distracting.
I thought about screening in the whole thing so you could sit/stand in the treehouse and be free of insects/bugs/bears but I want to stop spending money on the project and move on.
The treehouse has always been a symbol of my growing freedom.
It has four floors or levels, starting with the one I’m building, the third floor.
The fourth floor is the sky, represented by infinity rafters, a set of four wood posts that point toward a convergence at infinity.
The first and second floors are where I will live next, where my true freedom lies and toward which I’m working, have been working for many, many years.
I may or may not build stairs up to the third level. They exist in many forms in my imagination — circular, winding stairs; escalator like staircase; rope ladder; metal extension ladder that I’m currently using; climbing up the tree bare-handed.
I’ve given myself until the end of the month to add whatever features the treehouse will have before I declare I’m done with it.
Then, the next project begins, the next phase of my life about which I’m most excited.