Friday, April 29, 2011


Just as one practices the cutting of dovetail joints, words may be crafted as well. Poetry is a literary form for which the concept "crafted" applies, for it is often reworked in the same manner as one would take thin shavings from a plank.

I have been waking up in the night with certain clarity about how certain things about the hands and the way we learn can be best expressed. And yet, when morning comes, I struggle with my thoughts. Where, now, is the clarity, precision and beauty of language I had experienced in the night? There is surely a poem that could be crafted from those fleeting thoughts.

Today in the wood shop, I'm making a small cherry cabinet that will serve as a prop when the editor comes from Fine Woodworking to take photographs for an article about making bridle joint doors. At some point the thoughts from last night's lucid dreams will gain clarity. That may be today, or tomorrow or the next day. Much of what a good writer, or a good woodworker does is to connect with the unconscious. And that connection is one that sneaks up on a person, rather than being tackled to the ground and beaten to death. There is no time schedule for the integration of one's innermost thoughts.

Make, fix and create. As you do so, as your hands are engaged in creative exercise, those doors are left ajar, that separate the conscious and unconscious minds. This is precisely why Jean Jacques Rousseau said,
"Put a young man in a wood shop, his hands work to the development of his brain. He becomes a philosopher while thinking himself only a craftsman."
Put your own hands to work on your brain. It is not rocket science, but merely the application of hand to mind.

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