La Fortezza della Solitudine

Dear Dylan,

The fortress of solitude I have been building the last few months is nearly complete. Set forty yards into the woods it stands 15 feet in the air among the trees and overlooks the stream and bog. I tackled this project the way I approach software (and, some would say, life) planning to no more than 50%, then diving straight in, getting dirty and iterating as I learned. I never built anything of this scale or complexity before, but am now proud of every imperfection.

I am most proud of the complex angles of the hip roof, and especially the translucency that lets the stars and nature in to watch you as you grow.

In warm months a wall of green will insulate you from the confusion and clamor. In Winter the cold air and gray and brown sentinel-like trees will serve your need for separation.

Electronic screens and teledevices are forbidden here. No electric light; only stars and candles when the day is quenched. As important as I believe it is, and as much as I want you to gain a comfortable fluency with the digital tools that are remaking the world, i want you to master distance from these tools as well, alone with your thoughts. Let this serve as one place among many for meditation and communion; a centrifuge for fleeing and ungathered insights, for contemplating lost and found love.

I have come to know that many of the old axioms are true; that the unexamined life is not worth living: and I know you will come to need and appreciate this distance from the din.

Love, Dad

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