Times are tough for a woodworker. I work six or seven days a week, and at the end of the day, still have a pile of bills stacking up next to my keyboard that, well, I just can’t pay right now. Such is life. But I make beautiful things that people will enjoy for the rest of their lives, or so I like to think, and though I can’t take that to the bank, I can take it to heart. I feel good about what I do. I wouldn’t want to call it pride, I’m not necessarily proud of what I do and indeed, pride is a slippery slope that leads to a cold and frigid wasteland, serving no one and no thing, I simply feel justified standing in my own footprint. My footprint being the use of material that was once a living, glorious tree, and my arrogant use of power, though I am leaning evermore toward the more friendly, and dare I say more accurate, use of hand tools. Keeps the dust factor down as well and, well, before the world there was dust, and after the world there will be dust, so during the world must there be dust too?
In less than a month, unless the powers that be find some way of manipulating voodoo economics again, our great country will default on our own deficit. that, I find mysteriously intriguing. So the USA is a huge, multinational corporation right?, and all corporations operate with a deficit, or so I’m told, but must have operating expenses in hand to pay the day to day expenses of staying in business, such as payroll, or they simply go “out of business’. So we must cut costs somewhere. Who will not get payed this month? Hmmm, how about the politicians, how about those that got us messed up in this here mess. And who might that be? An old adage reminds us that, “when you point your finger, you’ve got three more fingers pointing back at you”. Yeppers, if you bought it, and it wasn’t made here, and you buy enough of it often enough, this here trade deficit is all yours. Of course our government supplied the necessary trade regulations, or lack there of, that fueled the mad consumerism that sent us to the super sized outlet stores, filled with goods built in countries with inhumanly lax labor protection laws, but nobody held a gun to your head and forced you to purchase that… CRAP. One might consider buying less stuff, buying better stuff, buying stuff that might last a lifetime if given the respect deserving of fine craftsmanship, and last but certainly not least, one might consider buying local. That way, we don’t line the pockets of, oh shall we say for example, the Chinese, creating this massive trade deficit that forces us to borrow money from, just for example say, the Chinese, that allows us to give financial help to, for example, Pakistan, so they will continue to be our ally in that particular strategic corner of the world. Dust to dust.
Borders are nonsense, cultural disparities are beautiful, and the internet brings it all home. Communication between the many disparate peoples of this planet, this universe perhaps, this wonder filled, mysterious universe we have, by chance, found ourselves wandering through, will bring us all to the edge of salvation. And the time is near. Not the time of destruction, not some Holocaust of devastation, not some “second coming, first coming, or third coming”, but to the inevitable evolution of a truly profound species, us. We WILL survive, and we will do it on our own. Corporations will go under, banks will close, armies will disband, profiteers will try to eat their money, and governments will collapse. WE, will live on, trees will grow, wind will blow, birds will sing, fish will swim, buffalo will roam, wolves will hunt, and the sun and the moon, will rise again. And the dust will settle.
If you want to be a woodworker, or if you just want to work with wood, start with some small sticks, make a simple picture frame, and discover just how “unnatural”, are right angles. Carefully cut eight 45 degree miters, you’ll know they are truly 45 degree miters only when you carefully glue one to another, the next to these two, and the forth to the proceeding three and back to the first, and somehow wind up with something that simply does not exist in nature, a square square, or a square rectangle. And when the dust clears, you will know you are human.