I discovered Dan Price Saturday. It was beautiful day. I drove over to Stinson Beach to give my new car some exercise. I found this intimate little bookstore with tons of character - Stinson Beach Books. By their very nature, beach town bookstores are special places, so I had to go in.
Exploring, I found this little book called Radical Simplicity: Creating an Authentic Life. The cover got my attention but the inside pages were even better. It is chock full of Dan's wonderful original sketches with mostly hand-lettering. Beautiful book.
I started reading Radical Simplicity at the Sand Dollar Restaurant across the street from the bookstore. The burger I had there was scrumptious by the way. I read a good chunk of the book that afternoon and evening and finished it the next day. I was fascinated.
The writing and sketching are excellent but the most interesting thing is Dan and what he thinks and does. He is a passionate and quirky guy. He seems naturally compelled to do things way off and away from the norm. One thing he seriously wondered about was what it would be like to be an indian in the days when indians lived peacefully and in harmony with nature. Dan's story made me wonder about indians too.
Maybe I felt a little like Dan a long time ago when I first realized how modern industrialized civilization has really trashed the planet in a mere 100 years or so. And used up most of the fossil fuels too. It bothered me a lot then. I couldn't understand it.
Eventually I kind of hardened myself to it and decided it was *just the way things are* and I might as well enjoy the good parts of the trend. So I became a technology enthusiast. I still recycled and stuff like that but stayed far away from being an environmentalist.
Even still, I read Ecotopia when it came out and really liked it. Maybe it is the shadow side of my mind. Yeah. So Dan Price and his books worked on that side of my mind. And now I'm compelled to read everything the guy has written. Maybe not everything.
Unlike most of us, Dan Price has made some very tough choices to pursue his unique vision and live life the way he imagines it should be lived. He's definitely advocating living lightly on the land.
Dan has been on a quest. He's done a lot of traveling and a lot of building tiny alternative homes. He's lived in two tee-pees, lots of high-tech tents and some other little shelters that are perhaps best described as hobbit houses.
Dan's written two other books that I'm currently reading: How to Make a Journal of Your Life and Moonlight Chronicles. They are different and were written in 2000 and 2001 while Radical Simplicity was written in 2005. I like the most recent book best and the Moonlight Chronicles second best and How to Make a Journal third. He's getting better as he goes along. I hope this trend continues.
Dan also has written a series of zines over the years. Over 50 of them. He sells them on his website for $5 each. I'm very tempted to order a few. I'm sure I will. I'll get back to you about them once I've checked 'em out.
Dan is not a god or a guru. But, he's very honest and has taken an alternate path from mine. And I admire him for it. I am curious to see more of the details of that alternate life that I've so far passed by.