By Peter Forbes
A tale of friendship, encouragement, and the search to layout a greater world
A guy aside is the story—part kin 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 research and comprehend their own.
Coperthwaite encouraged many through residing with reference to nature and towards modern society, and used to be frequently in comparison to Henry David Thoreau. very like Helen and Scott Nearing, who have been his buddies and mentors, Coperthwaite led a 55-year-long "experiment in dwelling" on a distant stretch of Maine coast. There he created a domicile of wood, multistoried yurts, a sort of structure for which he used to be identified all over the world. Coperthwaite additionally embodied a philosophy that he referred to as "democratic living," which was once approximately empowering every body to have corporation over their lives that allows you to create a greater group.
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Extra info for A Man Apart. Bill Coperthwaite's Radical Experiment in Living
His felt shoes were there where he left them beside his bed. His breakfast dishes, not fully put away, were there waiting for him to return. His vest hung by the stairs to his bed. His bag of teaching tools, as I called them, was ready by the door. And we were there, some twenty-five of us, but he was not. The one lightbulb from Bill’s solar panel, which had always seemed sufficient for him, was just a tiny spot in a house filled with headlamps sweeping back and forth like a crime scene. Though we tried to be respectful, we had the energy of a herd of deer locked in a corral.
We pushed on, tired, emotionally raw and open, everything gray, frozen. Everything about driving a car, right then, scared me. When the sun made it hard for me to see, or when the tires missed traction for a second, or when a truck passed us, I thought about Bill going about his normal day, driving to Thanksgiving, suddenly turning sideways, shouting out perhaps, hitting the oak tree, lights out. At one point in our journey, we were all talking, laughing even, and I drifted over the line just a bit.
Later, on Bill’s desk in his Library Yurt, we would find a final list he had scratched on a piece of scrap paper: “To pack,” with “Burial Authorization” crossed off. This was in keeping with the preparedness that guided all of Bill’s life. Early morning winter light on Bill’s desk on the second floor of his yurt. Here he loved to sit by the stove and catch up on correspondence. Bill lived in a swirl of ideas, inventions, plans, and enthusiasms, always studying, always investigating new ways to design yurts, tools, and everyday objects, as well as educational systems and community life.
A Man Apart. Bill Coperthwaite's Radical Experiment in Living by Peter Forbes