Monday, March 12, 2007


From early morning today I was up to my scalp in editing deadlines, one eye now and then glimpsing out the window at all those logs still lying there waiting to be sectioned and split and stacked to catch the southerly winds, and a freshly tilled row in the garden waiting to receive the various seeds I have in mind, until at about two this afternoon enough was enough, so I put on my work clothes and got the tools from the shed and went out into the spring snowstorm to get some real work done, and for a couple hours lost myself in the all there is, remotely reveling in the absence of self, and among other things learned, upon splitting sections of oak and finding the familiar woodboring grub hole (you always find them in these wild oaks up here), my axe informing me via the handle, that those holes perforce make the oak much stronger, much closer to iron as the grain compensates for the central weakness and girds against it, much as we are made stronger by weaknesses we've overcome…

Then later, after splitting a half-log into quarters, I saw that in one of the woodborer cul de sacs angling off into the grain of the wood, the inner reach of the hole had been stuffed with a variety of moss that, though long dried, was still green. Whatever insect had made its home there had gone out and from the deep knowledge selected that particular variety of moss, clipped off right-sized pieces of it and dragged them back along the dark hole into the depths of the tree to make itself some very comfy quarters, well aerated yet well shielded by the moss, in a home of solid, living oak. Savvy really has no limits, does it. And some hours later, around dinnertime, how I enjoy that real-work weariness in my shoulders, back and thighs, that well-earned wealth of tiredness that has more genuine value than money, that says my body and spirit have spent some deep time working together.

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