Sunday Fort Building

Dawn. Slashes of light in the sky. Sunday morning on Pistol River beach on the extreme Southern Oregon Coast. Tide rushing in. Fifty degrees. No one else around. Driftwood galore. I felt energized like I never am in the big city.

Fort time.

I found the perfect spot. A tiny promontory of sand with a steep face. A root wad intertwined by a giant tractor tire would provide an incredible foundation.

If I built it well, it might last an hour and no one would see it.

It’s highly irregular in my fort building experience to construct a fort at precisely the moment a wild tide is coming ashore and ready to topple it. I can count the times on one hand.

What a unique high it is to build under this kind of sublime pressure. Can you finish it before the collapse? Why am building something that won’t last?

Great questions for forts and life. Sometimes you just do something for pure joy and don’t worry about the outcome. It goes against our American grain. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

One never knows where the joy of doing something will lead. That’s truly the ultimate non outcome outcome of fort building.

The selection of driftwood astonished me. There were even choice cuts of beaverwood.

I got into it. I moved with purpose and alacrity. I had evanescent art on my mind and a mysterious woman of Pistol River who deserves a novel written about her.

I built and dived into everything. The labor. The lifting. The love of doing this. The letting go of this and that. The dragging. The drug of the waves. The hoisting. The positioning. The shoring up. The strengthening.

I was wearing a Pendleton sweater over a Pendleton Western shirt and sweat began soaking my body.

A wave crashed the base of the fort. It held. It didn’t budge an inch.

Shit, maybe my Sunday fort might last a day or two.

I left the beach. I was thinking about the book I want to write about fort building. I’ve been writing it for 20 years. I have 100,000 words in the can and several thousand photos.

What exactly would that book look like in format? Or tone?