My workshop isn’t much, but there’s all the basic tools – saws, sanders, screwdrivers, and sandpaper.  I have glue and clamps.  Tools are everywhere – on hooks, in drawers, on shelves or scattered on my assembly table.  It’s a small space, barely enough room for me and a few projects.

In winter, half the shop can be heated and in summer there’s a fan to kick up dust and provide a little air.  I often check the temperature before venturing out there.

Time is one thing lacking – never enough time.  I have a number of half finished projects and a longer list of projects I’d like to start.  I’d like to create more, do more, but … well, life, work, stuff.  There’s never enough time.

A few years ago I was asked to do a woodworking project at church.  My answer was, “The only way I can work on your project is by not finishing someone else’s project.”  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to do everything you want and all the things you’re asked.

Life isn’t like that.  There are choices that we don’t want to make.

I’m not the greatest woodworker.  Precision is always a challenge for me, both because I don’t have enough skill and I haven’t invested in the best of tools.  The table saw fence isn’t parallel, the router table isn’t flat, the bandsaw blade bends, and I often miss add all those little fractions (quick, what’s half of 3/4 of an inch?).  There’s no promise that anything delivered from my shop is flat, square or level.

Still, there’s satisfaction in working the tools to craft something.  Reality rarely meets the fancy drawings I make.  I know I am a better craftsman than I was ten years ago.  I’ve learned a lot and have more confidence.  I make plenty of mistakes and often am frustrated that my results don’t meet my ideals.

The only real goal I have is doing what I can and being able to say, “I made this.”

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Friday Wisdom – THE TRUTH

I have seen the truth!

and it doesn’t make any sense …

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Rainy Belief

The fires and smoke of autumn have given way to a Californian storm.  The winds are high and the rains fall in occasionally heavy downfalls.  It’s California cold.  A few tree branches are down and a few report power outages on their Facebook page.  Mostly we stay in the warm house waiting for it to all pass and the sun to come out again.

Listening to the yelling of the wind, I consider what to write about.  Perhaps a response to today’s sermon or a cat story.  Should I tell you that we went out into the weather to attend church and then to a play at a local theater?

Perhaps I could share that I tried to write a poem about the rain, but after two hours I couldn’t find the main thread that wove my thoughts together.  Words were scattered to the wind and likely are lying in a pile by the fence.

I do have a part of my wood shop that is heated so I retreated there to work on a piece of marquetry and that became the creative thing I accomplished on a rainy day.  It’s not fancy, just a clock with a bit of whimsy (pictures later in the week).

So back to the sermon at church.  Our Pastor took for her text, John 20:29 and the movie, The Polar Express.  My first thought was, forgive her for she’s a grandmother.  Actually, if you compare the two they cover similar themes of belief.  While the movie explores the more secular notions of Santa Claus, it can be viewed as an allegory for belief in Christian God with Santa as a kind of Jesus.

In the Bible passage Jesus says basically, “You have seen and believed, but blessed are those who haven’t seen and still believe.”

In The Polar Express a boy and some friends go on a train journey to the North Pole to see Santa.  The boy has adventures, encounters strange things and when he gets to the North Pole it seems that everyone but him can see Santa until he believes.  The proof of his belief shown when he hears the bell and sees Santa.

Our Pastor said at one point, “Seeing is believing.”  Naturally my poet brain wanted to respond with, “But believing is seeing.”

I am at heart a mystic and find the belief comes before all.

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Friday Wisdom – Logic

Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the real world.

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