The Lowly Lac

You know you’ve hit the bull’s eye when someone sees a finished project, large or small, simple or complex, and reaches out to touch it. Wood is beautiful, warm, interesting. No two pieces are exactly alike. Trees are beautiful when they’re just standing around watching us run around like a bunch of idiots. They are patient, kind and generous. I like most trees better than I like most people. I’ve had this connection with trees ever since I first dropped acid. It was a balmy night in a garden in Florida, with huge trees everywhere. There were soft lights strung between the trees, but not so many to detract from them. I became aware the trees were breathing. I could hear them, feel them breath. I could sense their spirit of gentleness. I fell in love with trees because we shared the same Life.

We share approximately 60% of our DNA with a banana tree. Explains a lot about some people. When a tree dies it’s a sad event. If the tree gets to live on in something useful, and/or beautiful, I consider it a tribute to a beloved friend. I do digress. Please be patient with me. Love makes one seem quite silly to others at times. When we talk about finish it brings up many different things about which to think. Finish comes at the end, but it is also a beginning. The connections are so many and varied it’s difficult to keep track of them all.

The lowly female lac bug lives her life on the branches of trees in India and Thailand. During the course of her life she secretes a resin. That resin is gathered and processed by industrious people. It’s then sold as dried flakes that may be dissolved in ethanol to make liquid shellac. It has so many uses I’ll let you click the link to discover as much or as little as you wish to know. It doesn’t make wood beautiful but it does enhance the natural beauty of the grain, texture and color of wood. Applied in coats it can produce finishes from gentle luster to high gloss. But wait! There’s more. It comes in transparent colors, natural colors that glow with a warmth that only natural colors produce.

The lac bug lives her life in tree branches and when she’s finished people gather the accumulation of her life and make it something that finally comes back to the tree to preserve, protect and beautify her lifelong friend. Yes, I’m a softie. The older I get the softer I get. The longer I live the more I find to love. Some day I suppose I’ll simply burst with joy and wonder.


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