Friday, September 22, 2017
The edge of Jose swirls warm and damp through the trees here in New England, whipping the top branches into frenetic dancing while the more sedate lower limbs sway quietly. I am glad that the storm did not hit directly, but I am also glad that the bluster of weather outside gives me an excuse to sit and work. I was once a technical writer and my work consisted almost entirely of sitting in front of a screen, much as I am right now, testing software, finding my way through processes, and writing down the steps and explanation that others could use to make the program work properly. There is an art and skill that is unique to the field and a took a great deal of pride knowing that I was good at it and that those who worked for me were even better. I'm sure many who knew me then would be bemused by what I'm working on now.When I'm done posting this, I'll shove my computer to the back of the big oak library table that is my work space, turn on the speakers and as I listen to Silly Wizard, The Chieftains, De Dannan, and Iona, I'll set up my bench hook, untie my tool roll and continue work on a basswood bas-relief of a sparrow perched on a leafy twig. My knives, chisels and gouges are sharp, the mallet that I carved out of a holly trunk will be at my right all of the sharp stuff to the left ... and that's me gone for the next few hours.I'm not a very good carver (a fact underscored by the failed figures of foxes, birds, and buddhas that perch here and there on my bookshelves) but I'm trying and it's good for my head. As an added bonus my grandchildren seem delighted to watch the progress and are wonderfully forgiving of my errors.I think today I'll start with Silly Wizard's "If I were a blackbird".