A Man Apart. Bill Coperthwaite's Radical Experiment in by Peter Forbes

By Peter Forbes

A tale of friendship, encouragement, and the search to layout a greater world

A guy aside is the story—part family members memoir and half biography—of Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow's longtime friendship with invoice Coperthwaite (A home made Life), whose strange lifestyles and fierce beliefs helped them study and comprehend their own.

Coperthwaite encouraged many by means of residing with regards to nature and towards modern society, and was once usually in comparison to Henry David Thoreau. very like Helen and Scott Nearing, who have been his neighbors and mentors, Coperthwaite led a 55-year-long "experiment in dwelling" on a distant stretch of Maine coast. There he created a home of wood, multistoried yurts, a sort of structure for which he used to be recognized worldwide. Coperthwaite additionally embodied a philosophy that he known as "democratic living," which used to be approximately empowering every body to have organisation over their lives on the way to create a greater group.

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Additional info for A Man Apart. Bill Coperthwaite's Radical Experiment in Living

Sample text

From outside the beams of light bounced off trees, swept out into the cold night like so many bats. The first thing I noticed about Bill’s being gone was that our energy, unbounded by the lack of his presence, seemed so different than his. I had to leave the Library Yurt and walk down to the quiet rhythms of the receding tide at Mill Pond. Sarah noticed this, too, and talked the next morning above his pine box about how the big old yurt finally stopped creaking and popping with all our activity and came to a rest.

It was then that the sun broke through the clouds and a wind came on our backs, pushing him closer to his resting spot. We had timed the journey to arrive at his tide rip on the slack tide, the easiest, safest time to pass through the narrow opening with such important cargo. Our hands paused again at the mouth of the rip, rocking gently on the swells. We paused a third and final time about a hundred feet from the shore of his homestead, where fires were burning in the early morning light, where his closest friends stood facing us, ready to take him from us.

We would all be okay. We carried the casket to the boats and lashed it firmly to the crossbeams so that it was parallel and centered between the canoes. For a long moment we all stood there in silence, as the casket rocked gently on the waves lapping beneath the boats, the new wood bright against the dark surface of the sea. Then we pushed off, making our way through the soft salt ice toward the open water. Halfway across the cove Michael flipped a frond of seaweed onto the casket. Small waves stroked the bottom of the box between the boats and once in a while a larger one hit hard and washed over to where I was kneeling, paddling in the center with the casket against my left shoulder.

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