Thursday, June 09, 2016

it's the work...

"It's the economy, stupid," is a phrase promoted by the financial and governmental sectors to assert their importance and their firm grip on power over those who are untrained or disinclined to do for themselves.

On the other hand, (and we have two) when you do something for yourself, whether its in the garden, kitchen or workshop, for which you've only yourself to pay (and payment  comes in the form of increased satisfaction and self-esteem), you are not part of the economy, but you are part of life itself, in an even more certain way than through the buying, consuming and selling of stuff.

I think it is useful to remind ourselves, that as so many obsess about the "economy," there is much more to life than economy. We can choose instead to reach into our own lives and begin doing meaningful things with disregard for "the economy." We might even choose the power of love and of art  or of music instead.

This is not to say that the economy and its ups and downs does not have a major impact on our lives. In the 1980s I dreamed of having a barn where I could store lumber, that would allow me to accumulate woods from my local community. My wife and I had that built in the early 90s and it did not take long to have it full of interesting wood obtained at little cost.  I even wrote an article for Woodwork Magazine called "free wood."

When the recession of 2008 hit, I was reminded of depression era furniture made in the US from bits, pieces and mismatched scraps as craftsmen kept at work despite economic collapse. During the close of the Bush administration in 2008 it seemed like the economy would collapse, and I wondered whether galleries would ever order another box. But I had my workshop, and a supply of wood from which I made tables that were almost all sold within the next year. My own busi-ness alleviated my deep concerns about the world at large, and I was thankful to be self-employed.

So, it's not the economy that matters, but the work and the greater sense of meaning one can derive from it.

The pieces above are to become pins that will be given to donors contributing to the new Community Center that we are forming in Eureka Springs. I am making 20 of them and contributors of a certain amount of money will be given these to wear and assure others that they have given their support.

Make, fix, create, and extend to others a love of learning likewise.

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