As we move further along our eventual goal in this project, one can’t but be amazed of the man in question, Don Zanfagna, his life , his accomplishments, his amazing talent, and his thought provoking ideas. Considering the passages I’ve read on Zanfagna’s thoughts, particularly concerning man’s conflict with nature, the quote that keeps popping up here and there is the one concerning how we have lost some hidden force that our ancestors had long ago.
As I read more, I can’t help but think of an old documentary I watched on public access tv, you know one of those shows you watch late at night when there’s nothing else on, anyway, It caught my attention. It was about a man named Richard Proenneke, and his quest to build a home in the wild backcountry of Alaska.
I watched 5 minutes of this show and I was hooked. This guy was a beast. He hikes in to this area called twin lakes, hundreds of miles from any remote form of civilization. He filmed himself doing all this, and this was in the 1960s when cameras weren’t exactly pocket sized. He had only the things he needed, and while he was staying at a friends cabin at a different part of the lake, he began to build his own place using only hand tools.
The interesting part was how he built his cabin, using what nature provided around him for the most part. Features like a moss covered roof, a handle with internal lock made completely out of wood, and a refrigerator made from a hole in the ground below the frost line,it amazed me! Considering the harsh realities of the Alaskan Wilderness and the fact he was alone, this was a truly amazing accomplishment.
So why does this story remind me of our project? Well after seeing this story, I can’t help but think that the environment around us is a very powerful and amazing thing, one that when it comes to living on this earth we must take consideration in every process we take when we attempt to live here, that we are not working against nature but simply working with her. So have we lost some hidden force that our ancestors had? I like to think we just misplaced it.