Saturday, October 22, 2011

Traveling at home: Dave Trombley occupying Ann Arbor

When Ann Arbor empties, be it for fall break, Thanksgiving, or summer, the town gains a charm, an energy, a peace that pervades the air you breathe here. There are few cars on the road; you want to walk more slowly, and become more observant of those daily routes you take. This isn't forced, but rather what seems natural. Why walk fast when there is nothing fast surrounding you?

During fall break, I met someone who was occupying Ann Arbor. All you have to do is ask a question, and new worlds open up in your backyard.

Dave Trombley of Ann Arbor
Tell me about yourself. What's your name? Where are you from? What do you do in life?
My name is Dave Trombley. I was born in Clinton Township, in the Detroit Area, and have lived in southeast Michigan for most of my life. I am a machinist by profession. I work in Wixom now. I started off in the automotive industry, but am now in pneumatics. My advocation, however, is poetry. I have been writing for five or six years now and also teach with the Ann Arbor Free Skool. I write about my experiences, my worldview. You can do what you want with poetry. It helps me stay centred in the here and now. It is about creative ways of approaching life. It is a positive cycle, an inspiration cycle, an exercise in mindfulness. If you are mindful, you open yourself to inspiration. Once inspiration comes, you can get poetry out of it. Poetry leads to more inspiration, making you stay more mindful.

Where do you call home? What do you love about where you live? What sets it apart?
I have lived in Ann Arbor for a year now, and it is definitely home for me. People are really amazing here. They are friendly, aware, open, and have different ideas, different ways of living, and are into finding out about the world they live in. People are so resilient. But you have to get outside of Ann Arbor to get a feel for it. Before Ann Arbor, I lived in Blissfield. There wasn't much going on there. There was a set way of living, and was not as diverse. 

How has southeast Michigan changed over time? How has the environment here changed over time?
Well, the auto industry became consolidated, and it shrunk. All of this computer progress has degraded with working class. People used to be able to aspire to the middle class without a college degree. The environment has improved over time, I feel. The Rouge River has been cleaned up, and the lakes are probably in a little better shape. There are cleanups for big rivers with volunteers. I feel like the environmental laws put in place in the 1970s have helped. In this area of Ann Arbor, the environment is very beautiful...the Huron River...the green space.

You talked about positive cycles of life. What are negative cycles?
The negative cycles are those that we see pervading society today. Greed leads to violence, makes people take chances. You also open yourself up to addiction with these cycles.

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