Step by step, inch by inch. As the generation of which I have been a part moves to another plane of existence, much of its tradition and culture disappears with it. I expect there are fewer and fewer people who will remember the old vaudeville sketch that’s been called, Slowly I Turned. If you’ve read much here, not that anyone has, you may have kenned that I am wont to write only when I have something to say. Of course people imagine all the time they have something to say. What I mean by something to say is something of value to share with others. Something that, in some way, may enhance their lives by broadening their consciousness of some thing they may not otherwise have been aware. Life has been very good to me. Much better than I deserved. I am grateful. That gratitude is what causes me to feel a certain responsibility toward my fellow beings on this planet.
From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. — Luke 12:48
Quite naturally not everyone agrees with this. That’s fine with me. Recruiting isn’t fascinating. People can be though. It’s easier to find the fascinating people by listening rather than talking. Being interested attracts interesting people. Being interesting seems a bit self-involved. That holds no appeal. For a moment a thought presented itself to my mind suggesting that I digress. Upon examination of the thought I realized it wasn’t mine. From where it came I know not, nor do I know where it went after passing. I don’t digress. I tell stories. When I was a boy I liked to read, Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Listed in one of those books was the world’s shortest poem:
Clever little poem, but I love stories. Currently I’m reading, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, translated by Richard F. Burton. It’s the unexpurgated edition because I’d rather decide what is acceptable and unacceptable to me. When Big Brother makes decisions for me without my consent I feel cheated. Some feel safe. There is no such thing as safe. It’s pure imagination. Everything has risks involved. The best we can do is manage the risks wisely. Encouraging Big Brother to manage the risks for us seems as insane as making shoes of one size, one color and one style for every foot that treads the earth. During my lifetime I have watched as life has changed from unexpurgated to expurgated. This pernicious practice has ravaged humankind and civilization. It’s like cutting the roots away from a tree. The tree dies.
After passing this year unable to walk I’ve begun to turn the corner. This morning I managed to walk a little with crutches. I’d forgotten how tall I am when I stand. Life should be experienced from a crawling position to give one perspective and humility. Humility is sadly underrated in our world. We have lost a proper sense of values.
If the earth were made of gold a man would die for a handful of dirt.
Slowly I Turned was chosen because I have finally turned and begun the climb back to health and strength. Where it will lead I don’t know, but I’ve been here for a long time and I’m ready for a change of season. I’ve been doing little things. Making coffee in the mornings, which has required pulling myself up to stand at the counter. Washing up after making expresso for my wife and myself. These things were too small to feel that I’d turned the corner, but they were part of the turning. I’ve been working on the edge of a hatchet for a couple of days now. Sharpening tools is a very important part of woodworking, often overlooked by the modern woodworker. Craftsmanship, patience and skill have been replaced by disposability, speed and ease of use. It’s a spiritual illness that’s afflicted society. If not treated it is terminal. It’s not enough for the cutting edge to be sharp. It must be polished to a mirror like finish to be considered properly done. The mirror finish is there, but my skill level isn’t right yet. It’s not razor sharp and it won’t be finished until it is both.
If you read this I hope you will have gained some insight or been provided an opportunity to think about something in a new way. Be happy.