Yessireebob, I have my own blog over on blogspot. That’s where I’ll probably do most of my posting from my shop stuff. Yet, I suspect I need two blogs…this being the second one because I have two minds….major ones at least…and then a host of minor ones. Some of my minds I tossed out a long time ago, thank gawd.
Then again, they sometimes reappear in the strangest places full of thoughts and fears. These whacky minds I’d thought I tossed out are some from kiddhood…foolish minds…minds full of real garbage.
But I digress. I said I have two minds. Yes. One mind is a practical kind of fellow who follows logical paths to their conclusion. The other mind is just a plain nutjob full of creative juices who sometimes writes and sometimes makes…whatever.
I read something Frank wrote about Japanese woodworkers. Their clans. Their craft. I pictured in my mind these guys running around the country…a few prized saws, planes, tools in a pack…ready to build something for Mr. and Mrs. Bigatazaki or Mr. and Mrs. Littletanaka. And then I pictured families of woodworkers doing the same thing…and factories of woodworkers…like the Chinese guys making planes. And I’m thinking about the world in general and letting my mind go to places I’ve been on the web. The auction sites where whole woodworking factories are up for auction. What happened to the people who worked in those factories? What happened to the American woodworkers who had spent their entire lives in these factories only to have the company close down. Production gone. Jobs gone. I remembered looking at a guy’s prized homeshopmade guncase on this website and how much he speculated how much he might get for it if he sold it. Then I searched gun cabinets on the net…finding that the guy was way overpriced…gun cabinets from somewhere, nice ones, good wood, starting about 7- 800 dollars. And what about the Chinese and all the other countries in the world….the piano manufacturing once a part of this nation now gone elsewhere. Latvia. Italy. Korea. Japan and now China. I’d heard a about a guy making the world’s largest concert grand pianos in a California workshop for $600,000.00. David Rubenstein is an amazing craftsman. Who is going to buy such an instrument when a 9 foot Latvian product costs 80 grand and an excellent German grand costs 150 grand and an American…well, it boggles the mind. I talk about grand pianos because I’ve played numerous large instruments in my life and while their were sound differences, each had their own set of joys. And can Americans keep these industries going with the price of American goods and services sky rocketing?
Could I make any money as a woodworker making this or that in my soon to open homeshop. And am I doing this for money anyway? And what about my aesthetic? My artistic mind…my pianist mind…my poetic mind.
I was grabbed by Krenov’s writing years back…something that got ahold of me like woodworker’s heroine….one guy, searching for good wood, making a small shop, doing what he loved to do. Scraping wood to a fine finish with hand tools…and just enough electricity to power a few large tools…the rest of the creation with hands and mind. I was reminded of my guru’s teachings…my poetry professor, G. S. Sharat Chandra, at Washington State University….sadly now passed away in 2000 in Missouri…and what he taught me about being…poesis.
Am I doing this for money? or am I doing this out of personal need/expression. Is this my poetry? And why have I been sucked into this gottahaveeveryelectrictoolintheworld attitude. Why can’t I just be that Japanese guy with a rice bowl and few worthy tools?
I am a large man with large appetites in many areas of my life. I now suspect that I haven’t controlled my appetites they way I should have…that someplace along the line I haven’t learned the kind of discipline I needed to learn to be really good at anything…though I have to admit I wrote some great radio commercials at one time in my life…funny and effective stuff. Who cares?! And I had a decent voice that sold alot of cars, boats, jeans, furniture in the American marketing disaster void of progress. Who cares?!
And why do I drive the neighborhoods in the old parts of town drooling over trees I could never have and reminded of the walnuts and elms and maples and lindens zipped down for so much firewood.
So, Mr. Practical Woodworker Mind of Mine, how are you going to wrap up this rant today? You built this box of words…now close the lid on it. Well, I know I don’t have all the experience I’d like to have to build a piano or a harpsichord…yet. And I know that I have a small slice of patience. Perhaps with this direction…something I’ve gone over and over in my mind for years and years…that maybe…if I just shut up… close the doors of the other minds that invade my thought processes…that maybe I can build something that will satisfy me for more than five minutes. But there’s always the next poem, the next project, the next big thing…and what about Naomi? Tune in next week, friends, for another thrill-packed adventure of “Rants from Rapid City.” (cheap organ music swells in the background) ANNOUNCER: “Rants from Rapid City” brought to you by DaimlerChrysler makers of Jeep and then soon not to be Jeep or something like it AND every huckster toolhawker in sight…making empty-pocketed woodworkers over-extend their credit cards since Diner’s Club invented them….AND by GOD: Let’s see you make 50 billion visible galaxies. (cheap organ music up and out.)
ANNOUNCER: We now return you to your own mind, already in progress.
-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.