This book is a personal journey that is at once an adventure, a tragedy, a comedy, and an insightful look at the connection between the environment and the fragility of life. The story chronicles the day-to-day challenges and revelations of life with a chronic health condition (chemical sensitivities). It examines the recovery and emerging new life that arises from a personally unique experience. Written by a landscape architect and artist, the story reveals and examines the unique northern New England physical and cultural landscape where the story unfolds. More than just an account of developing and managing an illness, the book documents the daily journey of the author who sees and relates the havoc a chemically polluted planet is causing personally and universally, while providing an eloquent, poignant and sometimes humorous glimpse of the natural and cultural world around him, which eventually serves as the vessel for physical and spiritual healing.
As a result of new and possibly tainted building materials installed in his home and office during a renovation project , the author became increasingly symptomatic and ill, culminating in a severe reaction to most common chemicals. Literally chased room to room throughout his home, his attempt to find a place to work by day and sleep by night proved futile. In only few weeks this mysterious condition struck with unexpected swiftness, producing devastating chronic symptoms and significant life changes, not the least of which was forcing him permanently outdoors.
While trying to maintain a semblance of family life and a business, he lived and worked at various points in a garage, a tent, an abandoned apartment and a garden shed. The experience of having to restructure his life, essentially from the inside out, became a personal journey. The process was painful, slow and unpredictable. The bad days seemed endless. But along with the pain, isolation, and fear, he found strength, courage, humor, and healing. The experience allowed him to see himself as a far more independent and self-reliant being than he had previously realized, and an integral part of a much larger, co-dependent environment. Immersed in the landscape with a newfound inner reliance, seeking health from an insidious illness, the author sets out to reinvent his life.