Sunday, September 01, 2013


"I love work, I can watch it all day." In my opinion doing work beats watching, and I feel at looose ends without it. Tomorrow is labor day, as established by Congress in 1887. "Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday."

There is this idea that those things that are done using the physical body are mindless in some way and less deserving the respect of those having greater intellect and work with their hands stilled. But if I were to hand you a stick and a knife, or if I were to hand you a chisel and piece of lumber, and if for the first time, you were asked to engage with these tools and materials in the making of an object, you would have a tough time of it if you were to neglect to think what you were doing and what you wanted to accomplish.

The following is from an earlier post, but offered in celebration of Labor Day, which Americans celebrate on the first Monday of September each year.

Children of all classes and from all income levels and particularly those in positions of entitlement need to learn the values that are acquired from working with their hands. And yet, we cannot expect a groundswell of understanding to arise for this issue without the participation of all those who know that great meaning can arise through great making. The following is from Otto Salomon:
"Persons not manually trained, generally regard the products of manual labor at less than their real value. They think it much more difficult to solve a mathematical problem than to make a table. It is not an easy thing to make a parcel-pin or a pen-holder with accuracy, and when students have done these things they will be the better able to estimate comparatively the difficulty of making a table or chair; and what perhaps is of still greater importance, they will become qualified to decide between what is good and what is bad work, and thus avoid the misfortunes which befall the ignorant and credulous through the impositions of knaves."
But the matter is even worse now than what Salomon describes. So many from all sectors of society have so little sense of what it takes to create, and have not learned that craftsmanship is the foundation of human culture. As our economy fades, those who have power and those who do not have little to do but stand idly by with twiddling thumbs.

I assume that if you are reading here you know better than that.

I slept for an extended period yesterday as my body and mind attempted to overcome the amount of physical and emotional stress involved in sitting through a week of hearings on the Shipes Road to Kings River proposed power line fiasco. It is unbelievable to all from my small community that  a corporation can be so completely out of touch, so reprehensible in their dealings with folks through out a region of such beauty as we enjoy here.

I was too tired yesterday to be in the shop. My wife advised me to stay away from power tools and anything sharp. That is a good lesson to take to heart. Most accidents happen when we are under stress of some kind, tired or distracted.

Make, fix and create...

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