I make walking sticks in my free time, and if you contribute $50 or more to my farm, I will make you a walking stick and ship it to you. I have 130 acres of forests that provide the wood, and I use tools passed down by my grandfather to shape each walking stick by hand. All donations go to farm equipment and livestock feed, as well as my upcoming walk to New York State. Just provide your preferred shipping address when making a contribution.
Thanks so much, it goes further than you could ever know.
My life goal is to organize and express an artistic method for pulling words like democracy, equality and art down out of the clouds. Through writing, public speaking and activism, I want to help people learn to distrust the bias of their initial gut conclusions, and seek a word’s truest most quantifiable meaning before using it. I aim to cut the distance that separates words from definitions, and expand the divide between categorizing something and understanding it. We should blame language long before we blame our neighbors, or facts. Before settling on platitudes concerning the spiritual status of the universe, we need to learn more about the tool we’re using to measure it.
It helps to ask this question: does a microscope show reality? So much less would be known without this magnifying tool, and yet it is a distortion. A manipulation of light and perspective, which simultaneously opens windows into worlds we could literally never have imagined, and yet are not fully truth. You will eventually leave the view, and have to continue believing, trusting there are intricate textures to everything invisible to the naked eye.
Human beings are a special sort of microscope. Through us, amazing existences have been glimpsed: love, trust, honesty, despair, mourning. Our brains are a type of energetic beehive sorting through the universe and siphoning little tastes of nectar from every flower. Stealing architectural concepts, spiritual affirmations, mantras, theological conclusions, hunting techniques, parenting instincts. We are a vagabond creature, opportunistic and imitative. Our perception was defined along pragmatic lines, in order to keep a good view on life whether or not it was right, because it helped us grow in a way we wouldn’t have otherwise. There are intentional distortions in the human point of view, manipulations not aligned with the pursuit of finding truth, or witnessing reality clearly.
Through art, conversation, humor, through setting dinner on a table and knowing the stories that fill every plate, we deflate the barrier we have constructed between ourselves and our source. That unspoken distinction making us think of humanity as other-worldly. As adopted by this motherly place, instead of spit up out of her womb, still covered in afterbirth reaching for her chest. By definition, we are all equated through our mutual need. But a term like human being can be misleading, thinking we are some category all of our own. If you only ever knew the world through a microscope, you would also have trouble believing there is a bigger picture.
I want to create a learning tool sharp enough to trim the fat off language, from words, cut right down to the meat and bone, to the basest, most functional definitions they hold to. Not just a method for interpreting expository or scholarly thought, but a mirror every student can hold up to recognize the distortion in her or his own perspective. Help them take a step back and examine the microscope they have been looking through, an instrument intended to make little objects look large, though they are not. How much fact has been learned via this distortion, weighed against how little we see when we point it at stars.