Yesterday was warm and beautiful and I was out in short sleeves, working the saw-mill.
I enjoy the mill: The physical labor, the weight of the wood and the brilliant colors in a fresh-open log. She’s noisy, but I love the language of the machine: the sounds of strain against knots and twisted, wet, wood; the bogging down against the teeth of a dull blade and the perfect hiss of a fresh set. I love the calculating, the guessing, the attempts to have every cut count and waste nothing of the tree.
It’s base work mostly, even primal at times. The tools have changed little over the years: steel and wood, saw and axe, pole and muscle. Mine have worn to my hands. They feel reliable there. I know I will break under the stresses, long before they do and if cared for, they will go on feeling reliable in the hands of generations to come.
I’m sure there’s something of the conquered giant stirring there, too, in my pleasure; though I hate admitting this bit of machismo. A sawyer knows a strange mix of death and love and struggle and beauty and respect. The things, I suppose, that make life seem ‘full’.
Anyway, yesterday was warm and beautiful and I was out in short sleeves, working the saw-mill.