The Three L’s of Wood
....’learning wood’ was the full-fill-ment of a need to support myself, ‘loving wood’ is the passion before me as I follow your in-grained beauty and all the while I am ‘living wood’ as one now lost within the artistic expression of the image before me….
....and so slowly, evermore slowly now of late the old timer arose from the barn floor amidst the curled wood shavings that lay sprawled all around him. It seemed to him that a lifetime had come and gone right before his eyes while working and still preferring to work the wood as he always had much of his life, down on his knees. Standing once again, he shook some feeling back into his legs as he crossed the space of his shop and flicked the light switch to add some more light and sending the shadows scurrying to play in some corner, he looked at the piece before him.
So it was with thoughts of kindness that now flooded his head as he remembered the work before him. Why it was only yesterday, that day of five years ago, when out in the woods on a walkabout and coming to a rise in the trail that he was at first arrested then charmed by this one before him, ancient of days and before his time. Smitten would be a better word as the old timer was overtaken and ‘the process’ was born in him.
Ah yes, he re-thought the words of an-other great master who had spoken the words of being born again, being born from above and here he was now in ‘the process’ of begetting again. And the tree, ....well she was ready to be worked by his hands, dis-eased now with wood rot in her lower trunk, she was still a lady of the woods. First had been the labor of love as he had dropped her to the forest floor, just as all things return to floor space spoke his knees from remembrance, and then that cutting of the six foot section at the trunk base.
Time had past, days became years as years ate up years and many of his friends where now gone on, just as his wife, that beauty of his heart and companion from youth, who had passed over the year before, as death still worked its dirty deeds, ....but he was more, a teller of life in the now. Teller of life, as the old timer’s hands bore witness to the act of wood now standing before him.
His knees softened now as the blood began to circulate and his fingers, well he had gotten use to the pain, but his mind was sharp, why only yesterday ….he had begun….! But that was then and this is now and today it had happened, his lady of wood had awakened and revealed, she had spoken her name to him. Where his mind had worked through inspiration, there now coursed through his veins the fire of her spoken name, a name was an article of faith that when spoken, becomes the conclusion of the silence that had up to now surrounded him.
For all those years the silence had been a one way conversation with the piece of wood, but now since his Lady had spoken, she became a piece of art and he was a teller of life, art-fully spoken.
Many years have passed now and the days seem as only yesterday as I walk these woods of my place. I still go often, just as I do this day to that special place in the woods, beside the stump of an old tree that was dis-eased with wood rot, till a master walked this way and it seems as only yesterday that I placed here the ashes of this master. To some he was just an old timer and past his prime of life and by the standards of some not much to look at and when I found him all his peers were gone. Did I say, when I found him, ha, more like when he found me and rescued me from my-self.
I thought I knew wood, but all I was, was a hacker of wood and making merchandise in a trade where I sold my soul to the highest bidder. The old timer found me in the woods one day and I wept under the shadow of a master who taught me a better way. Never one to tell others what or how to do it, he showed me how to get down on my knees before the wood and work together as one. This started my years of only yesterday, as the master passed on to me his greatest giving, ‘the teller of life’ as I now ‘live wood’.
....all my walkabouts are about-walking out the truth of life as just I be….
You all have a very good day!!!
-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/