I am doing a lot of writing but not on my blog and little on Facebook.
At other times I have described myself as feeling like even my soul was raw like it had been sandpapered. Turns out to be a helpful image for me right now. In a sense, what I am trying to do is strip off new layers of varnish and defense, trying to get to the grain, the grain of my life. A cursory search of “wood grain” with Google took me to something called “Wood Magazine” and this short piece:
“A craftsman selects a certain type of wood for a project because of a number of reasons. Grain is one. Yet that word has many meanings.
Technically, the word grain refers to the orientation of wood-cell fibers. That’s quite different from figure, which describes the distinctive pattern that frequently results from various grain orientations. To understand this, it may help to think of the word direction following the word grain. All grain types except straight grain can be a blessing or a curse. Because wood with anything other than straight grain may be sawn to produce sometimes exquisite figure, errant grain becomes a blessing. In structural applications, such as home construction, lumber (mostly softwood) with other than straight grain loses some strength. And hardwood boards without straight grain require extra care in machining to avoid tearout and other reactions.”(http://www.woodmagazine.com/materials-guide/lumber/understanding-wood-grain)
Sometimes I loose a sense of the direction of my life and need to keep doing the work of stripping all that keeps me from seeing what is most true about myself.
If the writing and other work I am doing leave me feeling raw and exposed, I am mindful of the rain that finally came this week, after 70 days of drought here in Central Alabama. The sun is out and it’s cool today, a perfect moment to go out and prune my rose bushes and plant a new bunch of bulbs in the garden–hyacinths, irises and daffodils. Buddy, our little rescue squirrel, is thriving. He’s weaned himself of puppy dog formula (thank God! it’s almost $30.00/can!), lives out in the cage Sherod built for him and wraps himself in his wonderfully full tail to keep warm through at night, that’s good because some nights have dipped below freezing. Next week, the cage will go under a big oak tree up front and then a week later, the last step in his reintegration to squirrel land.
Our days on this farm are quite like the pole barn, cluttered but not unbearably so. Lots of stuff. The leaves that have fallen are beautiful to look at and the stripped branches are a stark reminder of the season. I keep writing.