Twice in my life I have felt notably inspired, and both occurred last October. A few nights before Halloween I was feeling dissatisfied and uninspired, but also suddenly overwhelmed with a sweet sensitivity. I wanted to create something that fully encompassed my focus and aesthetic expression while also tying me directly to nature. I had no interest in participating in holiday festivities; the idea of spending the weekend dressed as a slutty baby or sexy zombie or whatever didn’t sound appealing. So I asked my friend Kevin to join me in hunting for fog and rain, and to help me build a fort.
We met just after sunset at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains before carpooling up to Charlton Flats in the Angeles National Forest. It was sunny and clear in the sky above, so we set out to build a fort right away. We hiked a mile or so down the dry creek bed through the burnt area torched by the Station Fire five years ago. Kevin and I gathered wood, not sure of a plan or design. We wanted to incorporate the boulders surrounding our plot, and we hauled a large stump 60 or so feet uphill to use as a table. The design was crude, but it felt like the start of something. We had spent nearly all day quietly interacting with our environment and some warm beers. I cut my palm pretty deeply while breaking a branch, and by the end of the day it was filled black with dirt. I’d earned that bloody gash by carrying out what felt like a dream. The day ended with chili and cornbread.