Tuesday, February 03, 2009

8th day, no power but back to school

I spent hours yesterday using the Kubota to attempt to remove ice from the road up to pre-school and moving brush down from the storm. We still have no power in our home and are getting frustrated by the inconvenience.

Today in the Clear Spring School wood shop, the first and second grade students will begin work on a totem-pole. Each student has been thinking of their own totem animal they will want to represent, and they have done a lot of work in preparation for this class.

The seventh and eight grade students will finish their walnut cutting boards and begin making book holders. I will spend additional time working on a walnut bench. Since my home shop continues to be without power and since I am somewhat addicted to the creative process and my wife is disapproving of my littering the floor of the house any more than necessary with wood chips and shavings, I'll restore my sensibility and emotional balance in the school wood shop. For those who haven't tried it. I encourage you to buy a tool or a knife, find a stick and make shavings.

When I moved to northwest Arkansas over thirty years ago, whittling was in fashion amongst the older men. They would sit on benches outside the hardware, clothing, lumber and grocery stores in small groups in idle conversation. Each would have a stick and a knife. They weren't carving anything in particular. There was no object to it but the making of thin shavings, the passing of time and the release of aroma from the wood. Cedar or Sassafras were perfect for this. For those who doubt that woodworking can have soothing, meditative qualities, a knife and a stick can be the perfect test of a proven concept.

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