Thursday, 22 November 2012

Making Sense of the Obvious

I'm dyslexic and sometimes that means that no matter how well written something is, it just doesn't make sense to me. To my utter frustration carefully crafted sentences are no more than a jumble of words and letters on a page. I will read and re-read those words trying to wring the meaning and the import from them through repetition; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't I'll try to convince myself I'm just over tired and I'll try again when I've had some sleep, and again its a ploy that works only sometimes. I hate that my mind trips me up this way, and the harder I try to make sense of something the harder it becomes to understand it.
My wife is a wordsmith, she crafts and hones the language in a way I could only dream of. She weaves magic with words and I am envious, not jealous -jealousy is a destructive thing- but envious certainly. Sometimes I will read something aloud to her and say 'does that make sense to you?' Sometimes it does and I curse my dyslexic mind, others she will say with infuriatingly calm reason that I should read the next line or two and it will probably make things clear. I find that hard to do. I want  need to make each little part make sense before I move on to the next. She will just smile and say 'sometimes it's not meant to. You need the next bit.' I know she's right, but it isn't in my nature.
It is for that reason that I have been struggling these past twelve month with messages of a more spiritual nature. I was trying to make sense of each tiny part, and in some respects I did, but there was a yawning chasm of understanding and I could not make that leap to full comprehension.
Whenever we venture over to Dartmoor we pay a visit to The Tree. My wife clambers like a squirrel up a low bank to stand with her hands upon his ageing bark soaking up the wisdom he imparts in return for her companionship and removing rubbish from a hollow in his trunk left by uncaring travellers. I sit, lazily it would seem, in the car and say 'ask him xyz for me please'. I wasn't being lazy though, there were reasons. Sometimes - no- often, his messages for me made little sense. They were cryptic to say the least and frequently resembled nothing more than gobbledygook. How was I supposed to make sense of that! Occasionally irritation would bubble to the surface and my wife would look at me in confusion because it had all seemed rather clear to her, and with the same implacable calm when faced with my literary frustrations, would suggest that maybe I didn't have the full picture yet.
Sometimes things aren't meant to be easy. They may be obvious to others, they may even should be obvious to us, but sometimes there is a process that needs to be followed, sometimes the working out is as important as the knowing. Sometimes we need that extra bit of information, we need to read the next line. Sometimes we need a kick up the proverbial backside before things can begin to make sense.
The last time we visited The Tree everything finally fell into place. The information had been there, jumbled, but it had been there and the events of the previous few days and long talks with my lovely wife, and confirmation from within our ancient friend pulled together strands that had previously been tangled and the path became clear. I can no longer ignore the message from this Dartmoor tree.
We have a pilgrimage to make.

Monday, 19 November 2012

In the Druid's Domain

There aren't many people I let into my work room. Mainly because it's chaos, organised chaos, but to most people's eyes, chaos all the same. It looks a mess, there is no denying that and no, your eyes are not playing tricks on you, the walls are pink. I did intend to rectify that but in all honesty it doesn't matter what it looks like, it's what it feels like that matters and there is a sense of calm and creativity that seeps out of the very walls and floor and I am at my happiest in here.

You can tell that by the inane grin!
It doesn't matter how tired I am or how ill I feel, just stepping in there for a few minutes, lighting a candle and incense, making my devotions and rearranging my tools is enough to make me feel better and set off a spiral of inspiration. I try not to work when I'm ill, that's when I make mistakes and cut things off that I shouldn't have - not such a problem when it's part of my latest project that ends up lying on the floor, but more of a problem when it's part of me! I'm already missing part of a finger from my apprentice days (a run in with an industrial bed plainer, which took the top third off in slices - you aren't squeamish are you?) and I'd really rather hang on to the rest. Besides, my lovely little witch complains when I bleed on the carpet!
That isn't blood on the wall behind me by the way, just in case you were wondering. I've been known to slice into myself occasionally but nothing that drastic! That's the damage caused from staining the cursed wardrobe earlier this year. I still can't look at that damn thing without shuddering. It was a pig of job, and to think I used to enjoy restoring furniture.


My workshop is a hodge podge creation built from bits and pieces I've collected from all over the place. My work bench is built from the remains of our old bed and a kitchen worktop rescued from going into landfill. It might not look pretty but its solid and the perfect height for me. An old bathroom cabinet has been re-purposed for storing things I need to keep away from dust (although I really should get rid of the mirror- sometimes I look up and scare myself half to death!)

I avoid power tools where ever possible, almost everything I create is made entirely by hand, just me, my knife, a bit of sandpaper and the chisels my lovely wife surprised me with (I think she thought there was less chance of me slicing chunks out of myself with those!). Perhaps the most vital item of my kit though is my mp3. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, would be possible without my music.
And tea, don't forget the tea.