I think sometimes I write attempting to preserve the magic of the serendipitous moments we catch out in the world – maybe this is the work of most writers. Kind of a trippy, not funny version of David Sedaris. Maybe I’m just hoping to remember these times of feeling like I’m in the right place…

The other morning I had a huge fire, probably the biggest yet in our woodstove. I got the dog panting inside which seemed like a win for New Year’s Day.

After cooking the house I dipped out for a jog, trying all kinds of techniques to stay out of my thoughts. One from James Altucher is staring at the skyline. For him, it’s skyscrapers, for me, mountains. It works, then you fall off, then you come back, and the cycle continues.

I cruised past a fallen tree on the path and thought, whenever we rent a chainsaw to deal with some of the bigger pieces of wood in the yard I should come back here and chop that up. Proud to imagine being the neighbor out there with a chainsaw. A nod to when my crescendo crew and I lived right on Powell Blvd. in Portland and used to chop wood out on the front sidewalk.

Right then I turned the corner to see someone pushing a shopping cart overflowing with wood. An amazing haul – so fucking impressive. Huge pieces of mesquite. I was so happy for them and their day of fire.

They had on a black hoodie, hood up, faded jeans, black vans, and were walking with a bit of a limp in their left leg. As I got closer, I saw the bottom of the back of the hoodie read, in plain white text, “I PROTECT DREAMS”

The entire pace and vibe were so Lynchian – almost in slow motion. Like the universe having your back, but different from seeing a triple rainbow in the woods while camping. More like the universe keeping you in check.

They just casually walked away and I never saw their face, only the baddest load of wood and the dreams hoodie.

We just bought a cord of wood and had it delivered in a huge truck. It took all day to stack and is kind of the centerpiece of the front of our new house. This person is earning it 100. Finding that much wood in the wash and slowing walking it to their fire.

Pretty humbling.

It reminded me of when I was bike camping and spent an hour on the side of the road collecting wood to bring back a Bangs-worthy load by bike to my Hipcamp site on a small farm after freezing my ass off the night before.

Max love to this wood carrier/dream protector. Thanks for the heavy dose of humility.

creW 🧡 💙

PS: I decided not to google “I PROTECT DREAMS” until after writing this thinking it might turn up an Incubus record. So far so good there but if you know what it means feel free to share or not at your discretion 🙂