Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Good Morning Everyone,

I'd like to share a poem with you: 

Wild Geese
By Mary Oliver 

You do not have to be good. 

You do not have to walk on your knees 
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body 
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. 
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain 
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees, 
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, 
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, 

the world offers itself to your imagination, 
calls to you like the wild geese, 
harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place 
in the family of things.

I've been asked to share my thoughts about my wood shop with others and here is what I think:

For me, my shop is a special, sacred place. Yes it's almost always a big mess with wood shavings and tools scattered across my workbench but when I walk in, all the cares in the world suddenly take a back seat. I have found that creativity and imagination are the greatest of gifts.

Working in my shop often puts me in a meditative state-as I work the wood I get to experience it in it’s fullness. I see the amazing grain patterns and beautiful colors, and I smell the wonderful scents that each kind of wood has. I can stop and listen to birds calling one another and hear the movement of air across the landscape.  I contemplate about the amazing diversity of our world, both natural and manmade and I wonder if wood turners in the past wondered about all this. I bet they did.

August 31 was the 6th anniversary of mine being laid off and since this coincides with Labor Day here in the US, it’s always an unpleasant time. For better or worse, we are defined by the labor we perform.  It acts like a script that tells a person where and what their place in the world is and it directs a person’s generative spirit. When that script is suddenly gone, the experience can be bewildering and it’s very easy to loose yourself.

This year, however, was different. I’ve come to understand that gifts are something inherent in people and they cannot be taken away. They are here to help us to navigate the world. And yes, they are the gift of a gracious God who knows we will need them for the journey.

Creativity and imagination are gifts have helped me find my place in the world again and I’ll never loose those gifts no matter what happens in life.

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