Friday, September 16, 2022


Mattie Bergström warned that those who's hands are left untrained will be left "values damaged," and what he meant by that is that they will be left without the full and normal range of human values, and incapable of perceiving the deeper meaning of things. Values like care for the natural environment, historic preservation, art, craftsmanship and real love for each other will ring hollow for those who've been sequestered from engagement in life though failure to develop skills hands-on. 

I am reminded of the Bonwit-Teller Building in New York, that was torn down to build the Trump Tower.

John Baron (really Donald Trump with his voice disguised) claimed that the Art Deco sculptures Donald Trump had previously vowed to preserve, were "without artistic merit." The saving of the sculptures, previously promised to the Metropolitan Museum (where they were thought to have profound artistic merit) was delaying construction, so Trump had them destroyed. Those sculptures were conceived by artists and carved by craftsmen,  and were to be welcomed and preserved by the Met, but did that matter? It would have to a man cognizant of the full range of human values.

Those Bergström described as "values damaged" are lacking the full depth and diverse range of human values. They, knowing little else and having no solid core of humanity adopt money and power as their only driving principles. They become reckless and careless for all else.

We are left in a sad and sorry state when our leaders are drawn from among those Bergström  called "finger blind." And so, developing integrated skills and intellect of hands and mind is essential to the preservation of the quality of human life. Let's make certain that all kids develop integrated skills of hand and mind to prevent them from becoming destructive egomaniacs and putting human culture at risk.

Today in the woodshop, I'm working on small boxes made from ash with lift off lids made of various hardwoods. There's an interesting zen poem that applies. It goes: "Inch, time. Foot gem. Each moment is a precious flower that will not bloom again." If we reflect on the huge expanse of time that brought us to this moment, and then notice that we're brought to this moment by a chain of circumstances, that then lead outward from what we are doing right now, we then observe that the entire future of all things rest upon what we do now. The small boxes I make will pass through a series of hands, each person responding in some way, and in that, the entirety of our known universe is ultimately changed. Must we waste the moments we're given? 
We'd best not. Over a period of a year or more, stone carvers were engaged in creating the beautiful sculptures that Trump destroyed in minutes. Certainly a serious sign of what was to come.

Make, fix and create.

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