September 04, 2004

Days like today happen, and I wonder if I shouldn't have been a craftsman of some sort. (This is a little like wondering about the cooking, except I actually invest a lot of time in the cooking. So not quite the same, after all.)

This morning I suited up in sunscreen and went out to the yard. Cleaned up all the birch tree poo. (It's that time of year.) Fussed the ants something fierce. Did a bit of weeding. Watered, deeply and thoroughly.

Moved on to the furniture. Spent a couple of hours oiling 2/3 of our teak yard furniture. Methodically rubbing nicely scented oil into the wood slats, watching it turn deep golden. Feeling the ache in my arm, and the sweat on my skin. There's a kind of zen to it, really.

Watered the yard some more. It's hot enough that the basil is starting to put out a few leaves. The fuschias must be crying for water, all the time.

Put together some end tables for the living room. Really pretty things, morter & tenon joinery, peg & hole. Just a few key screws to fasten it all in tightly. And tops that are removeable trays.

I liked putting the wood together. Working in the garden. Oiling the thirsty wood. There was a visceral satisfaction there that was so lovely. I did a lot of cleaning today, too - but that kind of satisfaction is really different. It's in the end product - the clean, lovely house. The former sort is as much about the process as the result.

Yep, that's definitely it. The process. I remember the summer I rode horses regularly - I enjoyed caring for the horses almost as much as I did riding them. Some days, more. Currying, rubbing down, the works.

Interesting, isn't it? Thought I was going to be a scientist. Went into software & management. Cook to save my sanity. And sometimes, some days - I just wonder what it would have been like to woodwork for a living.

Posted by shock at September 04, 2004 09:08 PM