By Peter Forbes
A tale of friendship, encouragement, and the search to layout a greater world
A guy aside is the story—part relatives memoir and half biography—of Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow's longtime friendship with invoice Coperthwaite (A hand-crafted Life), whose strange existence and fierce beliefs helped them study and comprehend their own.
Coperthwaite encouraged many through dwelling just about nature and towards modern society, and used to be usually in comparison to Henry David Thoreau. very similar to Helen and Scott Nearing, who have been his pals and mentors, Coperthwaite led a 55-year-long "experiment in residing" on a distant stretch of Maine coast. There he created a domicile of wood, multistoried yurts, a kind of structure for which he was once recognized all over the world. Coperthwaite additionally embodied a philosophy that he known as "democratic living," which used to be approximately empowering everyone to have corporation over their lives as a way to create a greater neighborhood.
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Additional info for A Man Apart. Bill Coperthwaite's Radical Experiment in Living
He took my hand in his own larger and more calloused one, smiled wryly and graciously, and rolled out a map of his place two hours farther down the coast. I remember something about a hand-built home, four miles of coastline, no roads, no electricity, and would I come and visit? Helen laughed at me all that afternoon for thinking that Bill had come to see us in a yacht, but I was months away from understanding why that might be funny. I did visit Bill that Thanksgiving for a week, and upon my return home I walked up to my third-floor flat in Cambridge, dropped my pack in the corner, walked over to the TV, unplugged it, and pushed it into the farthest reaches of my closet.
Only in my older age can I see that the asking of such questions may be the most important work of a young person who cares about an organization. I credit my colleagues at the Trust for Public Land for supporting me and investing a great deal of time and money in helping to launch The Good Life Center, but the process stretched me and pushed me to the margins of that organization. And because I was young and successful and had not yet experienced being marginalized, it all felt too hard. I loved my work as a conservationist, I meant no ill will to my organization, I was a respected and valued leader within it, and yet by following my values and what I thought our work could mean, I began to feel an outsider to it.
We jumped out of our cars, went toward each other and hugged like bears. He was strong and warm. I had to take a few breaths to hold back the heaves that were rising in my chest; I didn’t want him to know what that moment felt like. “I knew I’d find you somewhere around here,” he said. And now, some twenty years later, I was going to help bury him. Chapter Three LIKE A LANDSCAPE —Helen— I would describe myself like a landscape I’ve studied at length, in detail; like a word I’m coming to understand like a pitcher I pour from at mealtime like my mother’s face; like a ship that carried me when the waters raged.