Tristan’s rural village was full of empty space. Vast forests opened into yawning blueberry fields connecting dusty logging roads leading to abandoned excavators. The miles of coastline numbered greater than miles of state road. Turn after turn of granite boulder shores. Pinks, purples, grays — iridescent and matte.

When Tristan was a kid he would spend afternoons wandering – getting lost in the centuries of dreams woven through the wilderness. A crevice between rocks would be a fire warming a fur covered trapper. Cresting a brush covered hill he would see a trail leading to a secret rebel base camouflaged beneath a blanket of green and dried fur boughs. A short cliff represented the summit of a great mountain. Every sea-breeze sending modest green-blue ripples over the bay a massive squall threatening to render boats to splinters, engulf his village, and send women and children rushing through the wilderness to high points while the men frantically board up windows and doors and herd goats and chickens and cattle away from shore. Summer afternoons spent swimming in secret quarries filled with spring rain became desperate search and rescue missions. Every floating branch flotsam from his capsized vessel, to which he clung as to life itself. The rope swing a ladder dangling and from a helicopter. Evenings he spent listening to the wind tapping morse code adventures of mountain men against his single paned bedroom window.




Familiar Education

Tristan was home schooled. In the mornings he would help his father in the garage, or out on the driveway. He fetched tools and held lamps while his father repaired old boat engines, green from oxidation. The kind with glow plugs instead of spark plugs, and the occasional thin foamy layer of sea salt over the pale green iron. After lunch was either science or arithmetic followed by a variety of bare-foot skipping exercises in the back yard. His two sisters and mother would take turns playing instruments while they skipped along interwoven astral patterns foot-worn into the earth.