A Writer in Peril

A good friend gave me a brownie for breakfast so I brought it to the driftwood fort, along with cheese, peanuts and coffee.

She had baked an excellent brownie with flourishes of coconut and yogurt.

I sat on a driftlog near the entrance to the fort, the one I’ve been building for six months. The sun was shining and no one was around for as far as I could see. I ate the brownie while reading some of the messages left behind in the latest installment of driftwood fort writing project.

The topics included:

Complaints of wind and stinging sand.

A haiku.

A desire for beer.

Praise for being alive.

A YouTube address for a video of the fort.

Questions of the fort builder. (Why did you make this?)

And…a note that read: “I wish life was easier. I miss so many people. I don’t want to live anymore.”

A person in obvious peril wrote the note. Perhaps the writing helped. It was unsigned. It was written at the beach and the writer was on the beach in crisis and had to climb inside the fort and investigate the box stashed in there. There was curiosity still within the writer, a good sign I think.

I’ll never know where any of these projects lead. That’s their very nature. I do it because it is novel way to engage people with writing and thinking (in nature) and certainly not a novelty. Indeed, I’ve read messages that indicate the writers were clamoring for such an opportunity, a real tactile one on paper with Keno pencils (thank you Oregon Lottery!). People often leave gifts behind that go well beyond word: pot, liquor, pennies, agates, shells, feathers, condoms. There are frequent comments of appreciation for the projects and the groovy containers that facilitate them. (Axiom: the groovier the container the more participation in the project.)

The projects continue. I keep learning more. I keep providing fort-inspired possibilities for human media. Interestingly enough, I have never seen anyone actually writing a note.

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