Saturday, May 30, 2009

feeling okay about planting right now, will probably feel like I should be doing something else, a higher status job, in 10 minutes

I think about the kind of people who become tree planters.

There are a few groups.

1. People from Prince George or any town like Prince George to whom working in forestry is one of very few options

2. Ecotourists from all over the world

3. Educated, or in the process of becoming educated, Experientialists

4. Older planters who become, like, "planters" as a master status
-these people usually know many people in the industry
-they like to be free to not work all winter long; maybe they collect EI
-maybe they are still working on their undergrad / MA / PHD / novel / arts related project
-avoiding 'soul crushing' big city "job job"
-lots of friends who are planters, who they might see in "the off season"
-no fixed address
-possible seasonal depression, months of inactivity every year
-possibly live in asian / south american hostels for months at a time

These categories are not mutually exclusive.

What am I?

Pat is a Chilean raised in PG. His mother is from Valparaiso and fled after the Pinochet coupe, then married a logger in Prince George. Pat can drink 18 beers and a bottle of whiskey in one evening. I told him about Roberto Bolano and he seemed impressed with me. Pat has been in a lot of scraps.

I am a "peter pan planter," maybe, because I use it to avoid making long term career decisions / continue to "try to make art."

I am also a good planter (so is Pat), and feel positive about planting lots of trees and highballing other planters. If I were not a good planter I would not do this.

But then when will I stop?

If it were easy for me to give up the life I have chosen and get a job job that is pretty good and would allow me to play golf with my brother and father would I do it?

If it didn't require shame, and "going back on a lot of stuff that I quote believe"?

Would it be better if I were working for a high status planting company like zanzibar?

How much of this am I actually in control of / is worth worrying about?

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