Monday, August 16, 2004

"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced."
- Aart Van Der Leeuw

So much of my brainwork is useless. Seeking explanations for the inexplicable, then looking for some way to predict the mystery even as I know it is a mystery, and finally struggling with what to believe in if I don't fix some compass point on the horizon of my dreams. Yet, once fixed, I must acknowledge each step on the map towards and away from that place.

This is an adze. Used to cleave into and cut away unnecessary pieces of wood when carving something like a bowl, or a mask. Unfamiliar with the feel and use, I struggled with the right swing, digging too deep at times, hacking unevenly at the alder. "Hold the shoulder and elbow still, swing from the wrist, let the tool bounce to make the cut, don't move down the wood but let adze move its own way along the grain. Let go and the tool will do its work."

The instructions fall on deaf ears. I'm no more able to precisely control my errant arm swing than I am able to control my errant thought swings. No wait, make that give up control of either, I continue trying way too hard to force it to work. The fates rain down, some expected, some not, only a fraction of my prayers answered, and the chunks fly off leaving me splintered and rough here, smooth there, all in all an unreliable thing, my forecast, my reactions, the bounce off my surface uneven depending on whether you hit this week's wounds, or this week's triumphs. Hardest to live with, a week ago, I would have charted a totally different terrain than now is exposed.

A pile of alder chips around my feet on the hard cement floor proof that I have nothing but experience of each moment to show for each fall of the blade. Just a pile of chips, nothing more to it than that.

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