My life hinges with steely solidity through a linkage of ancient ways to a working past and a lineage of craftsmen working wood day in day out. For decades and centuries the men wielded their axes and pulled their strokes with another to stretch the massive saws across the tree’s girth. So too trees reach down and up, spread root and branch and grow from time’s past fallen seed to a present and future yet to be born. The trees I work the wood from now lie severed from those once deep-reaching roots in neat stickered layers one by one to dry a year for every inch of thickness and I wait.
Working beech-handled tools now smoothed by sweated hands through many years of working wood belong to me. The steel that’s cut so many strokes, the saw and plane I know so well, the steel I feel beneath my fingers many times in every day throughout near fifty years, has never failed to cut my wood in shavings and sawdust. How can I hold this from others to understand and to feel. This gem so many fight against I call work.