The Passion of Wood
How splendiferous is my joy at writing, as I sit here in the mornings, be-fore the sun has had a chance to display a magnificence of splaying rays. This is when by writing with pen and paper, ‘the why’, concerning my medicine of ink is flowing best and the images of imagination take on their body of words. This is when I rise above the cathedrals and temples built by hands of men//women and soar into the rapturous volumes of an opened heavens delight. Stories are told that give in-sight into the goodness of living life on the ‘live edge’, that dwells in the dawning twilight separation of dark and light and it is here that my self interacts with wood.
....how often i have sat before this place of wood, a wall of such written within the room of my house, and wondered why i never before had taken the time to listen good, to the story told by one old well weathered timber wood grouse….
“When time was young and eternity had not yet been shaped, back before the seasons of ill tuned land grabbing forest baron’s, there was a grainy roamin’ collection of woodworkin’ doppelganger’s, who worked the forest at a pace un-equaled to what had ere been seen up to then”, continued the ‘old timer’ as he rolled his gouge along the patterned grains of wood.
We were sitting in one of the lean back camps, that were kept for times when after working deep within the forest….twas better to spend the night and start again fresh the next day. Besides, this was a way of living and working that allowed one to grow in their spirit learning of trees, the art-full place that city dwellers would never be able to embrace. “Out here the bear is my brother and the coyote walks beside me to guide me on my journey of life, till it be-comes time to pass over as spirit. Much are the ways of learning and reading into the heart of man, that likens him//her after those earlier woodworkin’ doppelganger’s, but is up to each of us individually to decide what we will do, when exposed to this line of thought.” After saying this the old timer paused for a moment, before continuing on with this reflection of the wood piece he was working on….”many are those who will seek you out after I am gone, to ask of where you learned your right, to talk the wisdom of wood. These will be those who seek an easy way of knowing wood for profiting their ego’s and making merchandise of wood. Having no-time to sit and learn of the silence of wood, they clamor for more of books and loud popular teachers who arrive on the scene today and are gone tomorrow. Popularity is a wood worker’s worst enemy and if you want to know the ‘passion of wood’, then reject all avenues that would lead you out into the mainstream of what is often referred to as tradition.”
I remember now those words and that phrase he had used of ‘the passion of wood’, since over the years I have come to understand that not many have a time for wood….
“We live in a fast paced consumer oriented society that wants for today….fast food stores, fast gas pumps, faster shopping malls, fastest holiday travel. We as wood worker’s have our fast box stores, where the many go and buy their all-ready cut, ....stacked, and …..milled wood. To save time one can even buy their favorite flavor of grained cellular all-ready primed out and just waiting to be hammered into place. And what about those fast tools for working the wood along with those streamlined jigs to make it all easier, along with the knowledge that comes to me that just as soon as I buy one….I have all-ready lost! Lost in the sense that next week there is going to be released a faster tool, that had I waited….I could have gotten the newer version of a faster tool. That is until next week, next month, or when-ever next….comes along and once again I am outdated.”
“This is my passion, my trees, my wood, my hands that work the wood and the power of that passion is ( i ) or if I may say it again….the power of that passion is (I). Dreams are made of passion, understand your passion and your dreams will manifest un-limited imagination. All can have this….but few will live in the reality of such, though some will lurk in the shadows wanting, but being un-able to cast off from the multitudes, these too will soon give up and turn for assistance from those other’s, who being caught up in their own dream….will only be too willing to pass their version on to you.”.
“This thing I call passion, my passion for wood is mine and mine alone….it can-not be taught, it can-not be bought, it can-not be learned, it can-not be gained, it can-not be collected, it can-not be sold….but yes, it can be lived. Many shall seek the way of wood, but fewer there be that find the passion of wood. Some have asked me why this is so and often if I sense they are willing to know, I will pass on a small help to hinder and confuse all the more. You can-not find the passion of wood, as it will first find you, if you are willing to walk alone….”
“There are no-shortcuts in this wood experience to substitute passion for what is offered in the marketplaces today, where the money-changers are out to make merchandise of you for their own gain. Profits are tallied in the eyes of the be-holders and if you think this is not so, then the next time you go to a wood show, turn your pockets empty side out and see how much attention you get, if you even get in the door. What the many call a passion of//for wood is no-more than the emotions-of-geebies that comes from buying into the lie that ‘what we’re selling you will turn you into an overnight-overweek-overmonth-overyear woodworker. And so you buy into their dream, but the dream was not your dream and soon the emotions-of-geebies wears off, (and yes, many will think this is not true) so I will ask you this. In all the boxes of stuff you bought, all those books sitting on the shelf, all the courses you have paid for and taken, all those teachers you paid to hear…..how many boxes remain un-used, how many books remain un-read, how many courses remain un-dis-coursed, how many teachers words remain un-heard, and what did it all profit you?”
”How long do you think it will take you to forget all you have learned up to this point and start learning from the wood?” And with that the old timer put his gouge down, and looked me in the face with a knowing that seemed to invade the ‘my space’ of who I had thought myself to be. At first there was confusion in my soul, but then I saw the laughter in the old man’s eyes….eyes of fire, that rolled as the up-churning whitecaps of white water rapids, that tumbled down smashing un-lucky kayaks and their passengers in the frothy wetness of a self proclaiming behemoth Rapid River, as this one drains down from western Maine into the silent fogginess of Lake Umbagog in northeastern NH.
....to be continued in a place of time….by flp
And so once again I set before us a way of choosing, enter if you dare and be sure to leave off all the encumbrances that are given to weigh one down. Beauty is a Lady that shares her perfume with no-other….and yet out here, in the dwelling within….there is a taste of that spicy aroma that one can gather and collect within their imagination. All that is asked, is that when you travel out here….leave no trail and all that you gather, be sure and use before time runs out….
....stories are told on the sides of a wooden barn door….when in the moment, I stopped to see just what the shadows were writing about living wood….
....dancing wood shapes of board and batten tell a story of not yet finished battons up on the third floor….and there stand I, thinking that maybe this will be one part of my story that I will save and pass on to an-other to complete….
”....work smart, work safe, and live, to work the wood….”
-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/