Portland, Oregon, is a city established the same year Henry David Thoreau built his cabin by Walden Pond. Out the back door of my first apartment in Portland was Forest Park, the largest urban forest in the country. Near the end of the 19th Century, when the tract was being logged for building materials and fuel, a Unitarian minister named Thomas Lamb Eliot had a vision that preserving this land was important to the city's future. Through his prompting, in 1899 the newly-formed Municipal Park Commission invited John Charles Olmstead, and his brother, Frederick Law Olmstead, of Brookline, MA, to study the area for possible preservation. In their 1903 report they concluded that unless something was done to save these woods they would "become as rare about Portland as they now are about Boston." (Portland was named with the flip of a coin on whose other side was Boston.) Forty-eight years later, the first forty-two hundred acres were formally dedicated as Forest Park.


As I read these pages again seven years after I wrote them, I see this project as a philosophical journal that draws its spirit from Forest Park's now over 5,000 acres and 40 miles of trails. It also continues my development of invaginations that split and extend the authoritative voice by inserting fragments of others.

Originally, on each page mouseovers opened reference boxes on layers. I've eliminated the layers, which on different size monitors floated into spaces where they interfered with the text, and collected the references on single pages, with a link to them at the bottom of the each text.


Some years ago, psychologist James Hillman was a guest professor at the University of New Mexico. He began by saying, "Philosophy is about keeping the conversation going." To which the Portuguese writer, Fernando Pessoa, might have added, "I have no philosophy, I have senses," and the Japanese Zen Master, Soen Nakagawa, might have said:

   Touching one another
   each becomes
   a pebble of the world...



© Joel Weishaus 2006, 2013