Tag Archives: woodworker

Chasing a Moving Marker

When I’m left with my own thoughts in the quieter moments of the night, I can’t help but look at the miles I’ve logged on this marathon and wonder where it ends. Is there some perfectly painted finish line that will welcome me with open arms? Or is every step its own achievement?

Some would posit that if you wake up in the morning and take a deep breath, it is a reminder that you are here for a reason. Every day is a gift, each moment another opportunity, etc. I suppose there’s some merit to that sentiment, but a proponent of the macrocosmic perspective would argue that the mundanity and daily minutiae are worthless without some greater result. It doesn’t much matter how many hours you spend in the woodshop if you never make a chair.

I suppose I’m fairly split. While finding satisfaction in daily victories is critically important to properly nurture the soul, looking back at a life that didn’t create some substantial impact would feel like a monumental waste of roughly eight decades. Perhaps, like most things, there’s some balance to be struck.

Also, the actions we take and decisions we make may not permanently transform the planet, but they can deeply affect someone else’s life—for better or worse. I’m reminded of the Dr. Seuss quote:

“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”

Sometimes our choices have a ripple effect that we’ll never know or even understand.

So maybe it’s best to stop looking back at those starting blocks or too far ahead at some figurative finish line. Even if the present moment is wrapped in doubt, pain, or regret, it’s worth acknowledging…before it’s gone.

Adolescence Interrupted 

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The Necessity of Art

art1Without creative expression, we are nothing more than automatons, robotically plodding through each day under the command and watchful eye of moneymakers dropping us on hamster wheels to sprint for our supper.

It is the liberation born from artistic endeavors that enables human beings to break the chains of conformity to stand as wholly unique individuals. Whether it’s a song, film, painting, or book, the idea that something can occupy space in the world where there was previously only a lone notion is a beautiful and mysterious thing.

Inspiration born from the deep recesses of the mind is an inexplicable phenomenon. Lightning strikes come without warning, and suddenly the picture begins to find focus. Since my primary arena is words, I can only speak from that perspective. But there have been countless situations when my fingers were writing something without assistance from any earthly grounded force. I stop typing after 15 minutes and wonder who filled the page with these phrases and metaphors. I liken it to composers who listen back to a piece of music as if they’re hearing it for the first time.

We are simply conduits for creativity, and the results are generally more succinct and better developed than the head-spinning process of trying to generate poetry by pounding two pieces of clay together, struggling to form a shape.

Everyone has a place and a purpose. Scientific minds are here to answer the world’s most complex questions. Educators instill the next generation with the necessary building blocks of knowledge. The woodworkers and craftsmen are indispensable pieces of the equation. Farmers literally keep us alive. But without art, the very core of what makes us human would be lost.

So the next time you hear a perfectly-constructed melody or read words that seem to dance off the page, remember that it takes a very specific energy and talent to generate something that stirs the soul.

Adolescence Interrupted