Friday, February 11, 2011


Is there a reason that we say "comes to his senses" when we discuss a man returning to sanity? When one is clearly delusional, do we not say he or she is "out of touch?" We think of intelligence being something that resides within the brain or mind, but is the mind  a thing whose boundaries are no larger than the space within the hard shell of the human skull? If we want children to care about who they are, to sense their full dimensions and creative capacities, we do so by setting the whole of their minds in motion, and the mind itself is not something apart from the full range of their senses. And so, I ask that we each pay greater attention to our hands, and reflect on their meaning.

We will have a warming trend in Arkansas, setting our accumulated snow to melt. This afternoon when it is warmer, I'll take the tractor to school and push snow from the drive. This morning in the wood shop, I'll begin applying finish to the last three cabinets for the book. I have some additional photos to compose, and then beauty shots to complete when the cabinets are done. I realize there is not much to say about the hands, even though I can go on and on in my discussion of them each day, relative to what a man or woman can actually do with them. They are much more for doing with than for talking about. They are the foundation of all human creativity, all human thought. Get yourself, your mind, your senses, in touch, Make, Fix, Create.

I suspect we are all feeling a sense of solidarity today with the Egyptian people. A non-violent revolution. Mubarak has stepped down and the celebration in Cairo and throughout Egypt is amazing. The whole situation informs us of what happens when people get out of touch...When you have rulers who are isolated from the day to day reality of their people. When their hands are not engaged in the service of others, this is what we've always gotten as a result. From one tyranny to the next. We are learning that the open hand is stronger than the clenched fist. Long live Democracy and the strong but peaceful common people of Egypt.

When I studied political science in college (my major), it was stated that no state can exist without the consent of the governed. What we are witnessing in Cairo is a triumph of non-violence and democracy. Today I am Egyptian.

Subscribers of Fine Woodworking will find my review of Amana mini router bits in the April 2011 issue that should be arriving in your mail boxes. One of my boxes made with the bit is shown in the review. Above and at left, you can see the Krenov inspired cabinet with the doors installed.

The cabinet shown at left is my freshly oiled Cherry and maple jelly or liquor cabinet.

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