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Why I love this place -or- The Pendulum Swings -or- From the Sublime to the Rediculous

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Blog entry by Don posted 01-22-2007 01:55 AM 1137 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last night I went to bed after reading some wonderfu, somewhat esoteric, yet inner-spirit revealing blogs. “Stool-O-Marriage: A Rustic Impression of the Marriage Covenant”, “How’s Your Underside Looking”, Seeing the Timelessness of Gustav’s Vision”, and “A Gift Cane for my Carving Father” to name just a very few. And the responses that these kinds of blogs elicit are equally inspiring. They cause my spirit to soar and inspire new ideas that stimulate my creativity. In truth, I wonder what it is about this place that has wrought such a unique approach to woodworking.

Then this morning I awake to read such practical, if not pedestrian topics as “How to sell your products”, “selling our items”, “What Price to Sell it For?”, “Counting The Cost: Estimating Questions”, and “Where to sell your products”.

Wow! It was like taking a cold shower! How does one explain this swing from the figurative sublime to the ridiculous? The answer is simple – that’s life. Sometimes we want to laugh – sometimes we want to cry, and the strangest thing is, it’s sometimes the same thing that educe these polar responses.

It’s who we are. Man is a spiritual being trapped in a very human body. Our essence is not body but spirit. Never-the-less, our bodies need warmth, shelter and food. Thanks Maslov.

Our burden is that we can never remain in the sublime for long. Our basic needs always bring us back to the ridiculous.

Woodworking? Where does it fit? I propose that it fits in both camps, and therein lies the struggle. Perhaps the best way to close this rambling is to quote a lumberJock I’ve grown to admire.

Mark deCou: ”And last, but not least, I would love to see a group like the lumberjocks who have pooled their resources, power, influence, synergy, and ideas into a new movement of artists. We don’t have to be driven by the same styling, but more importantly by the same ideals, being pure, open, honest, and homemade. My momma always said I was a “day-dreamer and hard to work with.” Maybe after all is said and done, we’ll find that there is a bright future ahead for the Self-Employed Artisan in the age of cyber-space. If not, then it has been a fun journey for me so far, and I’ll start dusting off my resume again.

Amen, Mark, Amen!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/



14 comments so far

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 3667 days


#1 posted 01-22-2007 02:27 AM

Hi Don;
—-yes I know just what you are saying and can’t help but laugh.

Almost like the stories we read of the king who was saved by the gallant knight and how the whole kingdom celebrated the kings return with much party, food and drinking. Well after going to sleep that night the king had a dream where the gallant knight became so well thought of that that knight took the king’s kingdom away from him. So next morning at early dawn the king had enough of this kind of thinking, so taking matters into his own hands he ordered for breakfast,....well you know, that knights head!!!

Dreaming happens at night, but in the morning its time to put those silly thoughts out of mind and get down to the hard work of building a kingdom.

Then this morning I awake”....

And what would happen as some do say, that this morning you did not awaken, but that you only started dreaming, maybe last night when you thought to go asleep and started dreaming, you really came awake?

Or as Mark’s mom said; ”day-dreamer”, you choose.

Don, I’m out of here and off to sleep and dream, or now let me see, maybe I’m going to awaken and come out of this dream….
GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3622 days


#2 posted 01-22-2007 02:27 AM

when I do workshops on Stress, I talk about the spectrum from depression to anxiety (on the stress side of things) and from rejuvenation to growth (on the healthy side of the coin).
We love our comfort zone – when we know what to expect and understand what we are doing. But this comfort zone is not a place for living: we need life challenges to move us forward, to provide us with insights, skills, and self-awareness; we also need time to recharge our batteries. to rejuvenate our bodies and our souls. And so our lives (hopefully) follow the everchanging flow of life through the comfort zone to rejuvenation, change, and then to yet another comfort zone.

I too had noticed the abrupt turn but hadn’t mulled it over as to what has taken place. With the above thoughts in my head I think that perhaps the inspiring words that challenge our thinking and journey have to have time to sink in and wait for the right time to transform us to our new stage of our journey. Too much inspiration, insight, challenges becomes overwhelming and so we seek our comfort zone and rejuvenation to prepare for the upcoming growth spurt.

It makes sense, following this train of thought, that we revert back to the practical conversation, in order to find that equilibrium, allowing our selves to catch up to our newly inspired “Selves”. Give us a few days and we will be riding the tide of enlightenment once again.

Or perhaps, a sales talk is just a sales talk.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3698 days


#3 posted 01-22-2007 04:58 AM

That settles it … The King will have to save himself.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3776 days


#4 posted 01-22-2007 05:53 AM

I like having so much different input. Today I was going back over the projects looking for different finishes. I’m trying some oil/wax finish on a part of my latest just to try some finishes I’ve been reading about here…I even sanded down to 320!!!

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3788 days


#5 posted 01-22-2007 06:21 AM

Dennis,

Sandpaper?

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3622 days


#6 posted 01-22-2007 01:23 PM

and so Dennis begins a new journey, giving up the “whacking it with a hammer” (if I remember correctly) and sits atop the steep-sloping hill of the sandpaper

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3698 days


#7 posted 01-22-2007 02:11 PM

Dennis,
Don’t feel bad, for I too have moved up to sanding past 120. I was only using 120 on the Mission Style tables I was making, because, let’s face it, they didn’t have anything finer when they were first made in the Missions. They just took glue on paper and threw sand on it and they had to make due with what they had. Well, I got $100 in Lowes gift certificates and I spent the “spare change” on sand paper so i bought some 220 grit and the results are much smoother ( go figure).

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3622 days


#8 posted 01-22-2007 03:55 PM

lol @ Obi… that’s too funny.
It was a miracle, don’t you think?? Smooth….

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2008 posts in 3867 days


#9 posted 01-22-2007 05:47 PM

I appreciate your thoughts Don. Going from “dreams” to “paying bills” is a very cold shower at times on this end as well.

I can appreciate that Adam was placed in the Garden to tend it and care for the garden. Then, Adam and Eve sinned (Eve’s fault, lol), and then God cursed the ground and Adam’s work, saying that he would only eat by the sweat of his brow, and his fields would be filled with weeds and thistles. The easy days were over due to his sin.

Here is the actual text in the NIV:
Genesis 3:17-19 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

I realize that Adam’s original sin, and my own sins, have caused real and proverbial sweat on my own brow. If I truly got what I deserved, I would have been snuffed out a long time ago, so in our house, each day is looked upon as a gift and a chance to serve the Master. But, at times, the realities of the tax-collector, the thistles, and the painful toil are all a wear on the spirit.

What gives me comfort in the “sweat ” though is knowing that God designed people and this earth for Work, before He cursed the work. Adam was given a job to name the animals and tend the garden before he sinned and was given the curse making his work hard. From that, I gather that Work in it’s design, is good for us, for all of the reasons that Debbie highlighted. There are times I have to remind myself of that though.

Also, most creative people I have met are “Meloncholy” in temperment. I was pretty confused over what was happening in my mind until I studied a book several years ago about “The Spirit Controlled Temperament” by Tim LaHaye (written before his Left Behind series and fame). Another good book on the subject is Gary Smalley’s book called “The Two Sides of Love.” Both of these books helped me understand my own “wiring.”

Having a lot of Meloncholy Temperament means that I am moody, moving from excited-expectation, to depressed-worry quickly. But, most creative people have a lot of Meloncholy in them, and so the moody swings come with the “gift”.

I am learning to control it though. For instance, I no longer get excited about any prospect of new work until I see a check that clears the bank. I used to get all excited inside everytime I got an email from someone wanting a quote. Then, I would get depressed because they said “no”, or just wouldn’t even respond.

I have learned now after a few years of emailing out prices, that there is no excitement necessary until they say “yes” with a check that clears. My wife, who is not Meloncholy in nature, doesn’t suffer from this roller-coaster ride, and “reality” as she calls it, is easier for her to see. This is another example of why the marriage covenanent is two people making one. Without her, I would only be half of who I am now, and far from seeing reality.

I have been pondering Dennis’ blog a few weeks back where he was trying to decide whether to head the direction of a custom cabinet shop, or stay where he wants to stay in the “studio art-furniture” business. I understand his strains, and I am not wearing myself out by building my own house in the deep winter like he is. Hang in there Dennis!

There have been many mornings that either my wife, or myself, awakens to proclaim that the “Knight’s head” is to come off (my dream of being an artisan), and that I need to just go get a steady paying job again and channel my creativity into my after-work hours. Then, somehow, we make it, and things look brighter.

I find great comfort in Sam Maloof’s lecture this past September where he talked for quite awhile about how hard it was for him, and that without his wife’s continual support, he would have quit, it was just too hard, too little money, and he could make a good living with his graphic arts talents. He shared one story of when he, his wife, and the mailman all three jumped up and down on the sidewalk together, as the envelope they opened had a check that covered their rent for several months, elminating the worry for a short while. He said that the mailman was very active in encouraging him in those years, and wanted him to succeed as much as he and his wife did. I find that my UPS deliver guy is the same way here.

After Sam’s lecture, I have been thinking through his life that he showed in his autobiography, and his lecture. Then, one day it dawned on me that Sam is 91 years old now. When he hit “retirement age” he was still working on growing his career. If he had quit at 65 years of age, he wouldn’t seen the fame that he has seen in the last 25 years. So, what am I complaining about, I just turned 43? Thinking about that “warms up” the “shower” some for me.

I think sometimes, that the lumberjock thoughts captured forever on this website should be divided between the people that are making compromises to their dreams by trying to stay in business, and those that are unconcerned about anything other than the purity of their craft and pursuing their creative visions. This is why I pressed Martin to start the “Sweating For Bucks” forum, as it would give those of us that are sweating being in business a place to support each other and get advice. I haven’t seen it grow as much as I had expected at this point, as most of the lumberjocks seem to be people that are not making their full-time living on their craft. It will be interesting to see where it goes over the next 12 months as the site grows and heads it’s own directions.

Here is the long summary of what Sam said:
http://lumberjocks.com/topics/41

Appreciated your thoughts and comments,
Mark

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3622 days


#10 posted 01-22-2007 10:37 PM

it’s a tricky balancing act: being true to yourself while ensuring there is a roof over your head and food on your table. I guess the only words of advice I can give is to listen to your head and heart and follow the path that you know is the right thing to do at this time.

Now, back to Adam and Eve… hmm Eve’s fault you say? Then why is it that God said: because YOU listened to your wife and YOU ate from the tree.
Sounds like God thinks it is Adam’s fault…

”Eve, that’s alright honey… it’s our job to challenge men, to make sure they don’t turn into couch potatoes or remain stuck in “who they are”. They have great potential – we can help them uncover it!”

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2008 posts in 3867 days


#11 posted 01-23-2007 12:12 AM

Yes, Debbie, all this just proves my previous point in another comment in another blog, that people don’t change. Even the first man was trying to blame someone else for his bad decisions and problems.

You saw that God didn’t give him any slack for trying the blame game. A couple of verses earlier than what I quoted, Adam even said, “the woman that YOU GAVE ME.” Even that excuse didn’t help a bit.

You probably hear “someone else’s fault” excuses a lot in your counseling work.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2008 posts in 3867 days


#12 posted 01-23-2007 12:16 AM

Oh, I think it was comedian Bill Engval who says something like :
“women marry men thinking that they can change the men. Men marry women thinking that the woman won’t change.”

Both sides seems to not get what they hoped for. har har. It’s a great institution.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3622 days


#13 posted 01-23-2007 01:37 AM

yah, that’s the basis of my job—helping people be accountable for their choices/actions AND to help them figure out the motivation behind their choices so that they can be more in control in the future.

I was sitting at a conference once, waiting for the guest speaker to begin and I overheard a conversation between two gentleman who were sitting behind me.
“I just don’t get it. We go house hunting and she finds “the perfect house”—“It’s absolutely perfect she said.” Woo hoo… and we bought the house. So now, I get, “Tear down that wall; do this here, do that there”. So I said, “I thought you said this house was PERFECT!! What happened?” Her reply? “It is perfect. When I saw the house, I saw all that it could be. I already saw it with the changes.”

I guess we (women) look at potential homes and potential husbands in the same way. We know what they CAN be.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3698 days


#14 posted 01-24-2007 04:32 PM

Do you realize, Debbie, that some types of wood is a good sourse of fiber?

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