Paco itibaren رضوة، Suriye
If you've ever wondered what it's like or been interested in spending time in a fire tower you owe it to yourself to read Phil Connors book. Heavily endorsed with blurbs by such renowned writers as Barry Lopez and Annie Proulx and rightfully so. Connors book reads much like Ed Abbeys extraordinarily beautiful epic “Desert Solitaire” with strains of Abbeys “favorite” book “Black Sun” for good measure. Thrown in with the solitude that is life in a fire tower Connors provides the context for what has become our national policy of fighting fire, a policy that the author is rightfully ambivalent about – we fight fires to prevent loss of timber which has become a valuable commodity and potentially to prevent damage to homes and even lives of those living near forested areas but as he points out that wasn’t always the case. From his lonely wooden tower where he can see for miles and miles (apologies to Pete Townsend and “The Who” for that one:-) he muses about what would happen to the forest ecology if the fires he spots that start out as wisps of smoke in some remote canyon were just left to burn. Of course, if this were the case he would be w/o a job so he goes on about his fiduciary duty and calls in the fires which are promptly doused with retardant or set upon by fire crews. This of course is only a part time job, one which keeps him apart from his GF back home in Silver City, NM where he spends his winter hours working as a bartender, waiting for the next fire season. At the time the book was published, Connors had spent eight seasons in the tower with potentially more to come. On a personal note, you have to wonder how long one can go on living like this – as a former Forest Circus employee of several seasons myself I admired his conviction and passion for the primacy of the forest and nature in general. As an adult I worried about whether he should have ever left his job with the Wall Street Journal as a copy editor for a job in the forests of southern New Mexico. That aside, Connors is a brilliant writer and I look forward to more of his musings in the future.