My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #629: Divided We Fall

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 03-01-2012 11:47 AM 1567 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 628: The Extra Day Part 629 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 630: Christmas in March! »

Not every blog is easy to write. While on most days I truly enjoy sharing my thoughts with everyone here, there are some days when it is difficult. I like to be positive and upbeat and focus on good things that inspire others to be creative and happy. My partner Keith teases me and tells me I live on the ‘pink cloud’ because of my optimistic view of things. He is more of a realist and tends to see the world from a darker perspective than I do. Perhaps as it really is. While I know that my own thoughts and ideals aren’t always the most realistic, there are times when frankly I don’t care. There are days when I don’t like the reality that surrounds me and I feel that as long as I am not delusional in my thinking and actions and taking them to extremes and as long as I mind my own ‘p’s’ and ‘q’s’ I can think what I want. It is after all, my right.

But lately there have been some things that are bothering me that are hard to ignore. Most of the things aren’t directly related to me, but are happening to those around me. I am seeing something in people that I never thought could have existed. People that I thought I knew are acting out in ways that I would have never imagined that they would be capable of. And the sad reality that I don’t really know them at all is beginning to sink in. And it doesn’t feel good.

When I began my blog here, in one of the first entries posted (I forget which one) I compared people to icebergs. It seems like it was many years ago that I figured this out. People only expose a small portion of what they truly are and the rest is buried and hidden. In my younger years, before this was evident to me, I took people at face value and I suffered more than once because of it. Some call it being ‘naive’ and perhaps they are right. After all, it is with experience that we begin to understand that things are not always what they appear to be. As we grow from being a child to an adult, we learn that our trust is something that needs to be earned, and shouldn’t be given lightly. That goes both ways I believe, and I wouldn’t expect someone to trust me either without first proving myself worthy.

But as time goes on and we become more familiar with a certain person or group of people, we tend to relax a bit and let down our wall. Depending on the situation, this can happen very quickly or can take a great deal of time, but soon we begin to feel comfortable with others and we consider ourselves among friends. This happens in both our personal lives and also our business and work areas, and it is a good thing to feel comfortable with those who we surround ourselves with on a daily basis.

But sometimes, as we get to know these others on a deeper level, we begin to see sides of them that we don’t find to be attractive. Perhaps they too are becoming more comfortable in our presence and letting their guard down a bit. Or maybe the formality of the newness of the relationship is wearing off. But whatever the reason, we begin to see more of the iceberg than what is on the surface, and we are allowed to see a bit deeper beneath the line of the water. And we aren’t always happy with what we see.

I am sure this is true for me too. I am no different than anyone else in this respect. We all have a wall up initially and only through friendship and getting to know each other are we able to see beyond it. And I am sure that some don’t like what they see beyond mine. I am opinionated in my own private views of politics, religion and other things like the rest of the world. I have chosen not to share those opinions publicly though, as I share everything else. I don’t see how it would be beneficial for others or for myself to do so and I choose to keep that part of my thoughts to myself. I would be a fool though to think that everyone agreed with me all the time. Rest assured, I do not.

So what has inspired me to write this deep, dark blog today?

There has been quite a controversy in the scroll saw world lately. There are differences in opinions that have divided a normally cohesive community into ‘them’ and ‘us’. While the issues at hand are important, it is painful to see the lengths that people will go to in order to support their own views. The sad, destructive behaviour has taken on a tone of a lynch mob and it is getting out of hand.

I can’t help but feel sad about this because it is such a large part of my life. I am watching people who are my friends act in ways that I would have never expected them to be. At the very beginning, I decided to not get involved and to stay out of it, but by the sheer act of witnessing what has gone on, I feel deeply saddened and affected.

Those of you who have been here at the Lumberjocks site saw a similar incident happen last year when for a time things went completely out of control in certain areas of the site. While many of you refused to get involved with the nonsense, it still left a bitter taste in your mouth and you were still affected by it. I feel similar here.

The act of standing by and watching people you ‘knew’ do and say things you never thought possible begins to take its toll whether you participate or not. Not only is your faith in certain people shaken, but also your faith in the group as a whole, as you watch them claw and chew through each other. It is very disheartening.

The world is going through difficult times right now. It seems that many people are really struggling. To me (and my naive nature) I would think that this would be a time when we would want to circle the wagons and pull together and create something positive to focus on. After all (and I am going to get a lot of flack for saying this) it is only woodworking! It isn’t fighting cancer or deciding whether or not to detonate a nuclear bomb. It is something that is a past time to many and gives them pleasure and enjoyment. Yes, it is my livelihood and business, but really and truly there are things more important than business and making more money than the next guy. Really.

Have our values and morals become so enmeshed with having more and earning more money than our neighbor at any cost? I certainly hope not, because it would be quite a bleak and sad existence if that were the case.

I am not judging and will not judge either side. I am spending the time looking into myself and I am going to spend the day doing some positive things that will hopefully help the scroll sawing and woodworking and painting industries. I want to see these areas of creativity grow and prosper and be there for everyone to use as a place to be creative themselves and perhaps escape the harsh realities of the world and be happy for a bit. The only way I think I can help to heal not only myself, but also the industry is to give something back to it, not to try to grab more from it.

While the financial advisers may not think that is the most profitable answer, I know in my heart that they are
wrong, because they have no way of measuring the intrinsic value that doing this adds to my life and my soul.

So there are no cute kitties today. No funny jokes. When I awoke this morning and checked out my Facebook account, I did see a bright spot on my wall. It was a quote from a friend of my daughters’ who is struggling to find her way in this life. The quote read as follows:

”Worry about yourself instead of obsessing about other people, you’ll find life to be a lot more fulfilling…”

Thanks Izzy. You may not have it all figured out yet, but you are well on your way.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

12 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2855 days

#1 posted 03-01-2012 12:29 PM

well spoken words of wisdom. have a gr8 day

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2935 days

#2 posted 03-01-2012 01:47 PM

Wise words to start our day. Not sure of the issue or issues) here but well enough. We can all get tied up in the small things of life and miss the bigger picture. Things will happen and most of them will not be changed by any interaction. Let well enough alone (a phrase I am trying to learn). Thanks for these words to start off my day.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View w8n4simplertimes's profile


37 posts in 3441 days

#3 posted 03-01-2012 02:20 PM


Very good post. Thanks for some wisdom this morning.


View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2827 days

#4 posted 03-01-2012 02:45 PM

Good post and great observations. As you said, as things get tough, people are circling their wagons – it is in ways you didn’t anticipate. How do they say it? “Recession is when your neighbor gets unemployed, Depression is when you get unemployed!” This can be said about many topics that people hold dear to their heart and all it takes is someone to push the right buttons in the right order and the result can be pretty robust. Everyone has different buttons but when things are tough, the buttons overlap others and people can get really upset over things that they would not normally give a second glance.

Do not dispair, hopefully things will iron out soon and all the people you “thought” you knew really are pretty much the way you thought of them before. Sit tight, take a deep breath, enjoy the sunset for tomorrow is a new begining. Your temperament, your hope, your love, your personallity shows in your work and it is beautiful. Keep that in your heart always.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3087 days

#5 posted 03-01-2012 03:18 PM

Here, here.

Stand firm.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4211 days

#6 posted 03-01-2012 03:45 PM

it is my belief that our society (world-wide) is changing and we are evolving to something bigger and better. (The “Me To We” movement is one example).
Before we embrace this new way of living, as one world working together, we must burst through the bubble, the growing pains, the releasing of the old.
As we try and shed the cloak of the past, of power and competition, there will be those who struggle to maintain the status quo. But it will be those who are guided by the united voice that will maintain their perspective through the struggles, not giving in to the urge of power, anger, etc.

May your voice continue to sing its glorious song of giving, sharing, caring, and seeing the world through rose-coloured glasses!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3359 days

#7 posted 03-01-2012 05:42 PM

Very well communicated. You have a great gift for expressing your sensible thoughts into written words. I completely agree with you and your thoughts and feelings even though I am not familiar with the scrollsaw community…but I do know it applies to all areas of our life and our woodworking.
I have never been able to put my thoughts into a written form very well and I find it a great day when I can squeeze out a paragraph.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2970 days

#8 posted 03-01-2012 06:10 PM

Thank you all for your nice comments. And thank you for allowing me to express my thoughts here each day. Even though I am a scroll sawyer and many of the posts here are related to scrolling, many of them are also about things that affect me in my everyday life. I am glad you also feel that you can relate too. I received many responses and notes on this post and I truly appreciate your support. Some days I just need to write what is in my heart.

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10597 posts in 3479 days

#9 posted 03-01-2012 06:18 PM

Think of an old oak. Solidly rooted, thick skinned and rough. Though strong, it’s flexible enough that it may sway in the strongest winds. But, when the storms subside, it always comes back to solid and upright. Through all but the worst of conditions, it remains firmly rooted and steadfast. It often stands alone. Seeming not to notice the currents and eddies that may swirl around it, providing shelter and inspiration to all who may need it.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3152 days

#10 posted 03-02-2012 08:17 AM

I am not and will not judge either side.

You may want to reread what you wrote…..............

-- mike...............

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2970 days

#11 posted 03-02-2012 09:04 AM

Yes, Mike. I wrote it at 5 in the morning and the grammar isn’t perfect. I meant I am not judging and will not judge either side.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Leldon's profile


67 posts in 2923 days

#12 posted 03-03-2012 06:42 PM

Must have missed the whole point of this blog.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics