Tuesday, May 26, 2020

when in doubt, do something.

This has been a difficult time for all of us and I’m looking forward to more normal classes at the Clear Spring School in the fall. I’ve been trying to present lessons from a distance by using an email newsletter directed to parents and kids with projects that can be accomplished using the tools available in their own homes. I have found inspiration from what other teachers in my association have been doing with their kids. 

All woodworking teachers across the US have been facing the same challenge. Their schools have tools and their families may not. I’ve been particularly inspired by the advice of author Lloyd Kahn whose new book Half-Acre Homestead suggests, “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.” That’s a good philosophy to have for these times. And when in doubt, do something.

I do not know whether or not my newsletters and take home projects have been useful to parents or kids. I do know they’ve been useful to me. They’ve given me something to do when so much else has been lost. What we do with our hands provides a sense of agency, and a sense of control. One symptom of depression is a feeling that things are no longer under our control. Doing something in service to your family or community, or even for yourself, can help to reclaim and maintain mental health.

There are blessings to be found in these circumstances. Caring for each other is an important way through which the wisdom of our hands is expressed. It’s human to become cross and irritable under difficult circumstances. It is even more human to help. It is even more human to care for each other and do for each other. And they say absence from each other makes our hearts grow fonder. That’s certainly the situation we face.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning lifewise.

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