Thursday, October 22, 2020

A Streetcar named Purpose - Dr. Electro, episode V

 Letters from Josh

  Autumn Leaves 10/18/20                                                                           Letter 28

  Howdy, folks!  How ya doin’ over there?  It’s a pleasant Monday evening over here, with a cello concerto on the turntable, and great-grandma’s clock from 1896 ticking away on the recently-completed bookshelf.  Yesterday found me peacefully rummaging through rocks - shale fragments to be exact - on the side of a mountain just over the West Virginia line. 

After two months of Sundays working hard at finishing the Professor Plum Library room in my house, plus the cycle of life and death wearing on my heart more than a little bit, it was time to hit the open road.  The highway sang beneath my tires and an autumn sun, benevolent in his advancing season, blessed the path before me. 

The trees began to blaze as the elevation increased, mountains decked out in their Halloween costumes.  The only map I took was a photo of one on my phone.  I could have used the GPS, but with Adventure being the main goal, I only referred to it occasionally.  A “wrong turn” from Strasburg onto 81 south brought me one mile from Mt. Olive, wherever that was.  The little car motored west, then north, aiming for Route 55 and a way over the next ridge.  Quiet churches and the occasional cow watched me zip by, a blur of red in autumn fields.  There, a nursery with a million pumpkins for sale, yonder an American flag.  The road dipped and wound and gradually climbed into the golden light, trees matching the pumpkins, the air crisp and cool. 

I drank in the beauty, a salve for a sad mood.  A friend lay dying a hundred miles east.  It wasn’t unexpected, and his life was a good, and long one.  But, the End always boggles my mind, and fries my circuits.  Does a computer comprehend a swimming pool?  As a younger man, I’d lapse completely into Nihilism, thinking “what’s it all about?” with only the answer “nothing” echoing with an ache in reply.  Yet today, as I urged my little car forward towards the ridgeline, it didn’t ring true anymore (thankfully.) 

I still don’t know what does, but as far as I can tell, moving in the opposite direction -towards meaning, to faith if one is practicing, to light...well, that seems to be the choice to make.  This path that we’re walking together makes my head spin sometimes, but it seems to be spinning towards better things, and for that, I thank you.  And hey, I found some fossils in the rocks on the mountainside.  

So, folks, heavy stuff aside, are you ready for some Dr. Electro?  Previously, we found him peering intently from the shadows mid-culvert, watching a sinister gathering of The League of Inquiring Minds.  Across town, disillusioned WWI Veteran Murphy languishes at Club Vignette, adrift in a sea of money, lacking an anchor of meaning, and anything to do, really.  

Dr. Electro - Episode V - A Streetcar Named Purpose 

  Murphy put out his cigarette and exited Club Vignette. Only the closest of observers would have noted the frustration in how the paper crumpled in the gilded tray by the door.  His chauffeur wasn’t expecting him for another three hours, and Murphy rather relished the novelty of the streetcar that trundled towards him. 

“Ah, the common folk” he thought, a quick step up into the yellow-lit oasis of the Ordinary. There, an old lady with her shopping, and next to her, a...drummer?  The musician clutched his cases on his way back from a wedding gig, calling to his young daughter in a thick Lithuanian accent.  “Kathryn, Kathryn, the case!” as the vehicle started off with a pop, whine, and smell of ozone, jostling everyone violently.  Murphy smiled for the first time in weeks.  It was cold, rainy, and real. 

“Hey buddy, read all about it.”  A grimy urchin bumped and stumbled by, applejack hat besmirched with rain.  “ORPHANS FOR ORDER” screamed the headline on the pamphlet.  Puzzled, Murphy read on. 

“Children - scrambling in the streets, throwing rocks at horses, breaking bottles, practically inciting anarchy at every turn!  Schoolhouses are only serving as nests of corruption, one boy infecting ten with ideas about spitballs and disobedience!”  On and on,  thundering in ominous print, eviscerating the modern child and his devilish disregard for discipline, calling for a re-education of the young mind, and implementation of draconian measures of order.  Eyebrows raised, Murphy flipped over the greasy paper, and scrawled on the back in red crayon:  HELP US.  507 Union.  ASAP. Flip flop.  Front and back.  Back and forth.  No, no, the printed text and crayon were unrelated, and obviously to be heeded.  Murphy’s head snapped up.  The orphan stared at him, doffed his Applejack, and hopped off the streetcar.  “Next stop, transfer to the Chestnut street line, direction of Union Street” cried the conductor. 

Murphy smelled - nay, felt,  the ozone of the lines crackling overhead.

To be continued...

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

I've Practiced Looking for Things

 I've Practiced Looking For Things

One night
I crept outside into the void
and peered intently through a telescope
years of practice
to see the glimmer of Stephan's Quintet
The family of galaxies at the beginning of  It's a Wonderful Life
who decide George Bailey's fate

I'm not sure if I saw them, or just the flicker of something holy in the infinite.

Today I sat beside the dying man
And waited, just the three of us
the Grim Reaper in an empty rocking chair, respectfully on the other side of the bed
both of us quiet and patient, watching him

His gasping mouth so dry
and suddenly
the same galactic flash across his face
a holy mystery

I squeezed his hand and told what might be a lie
and said I'd see him tomorrow.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Red in the East - Mars and Dr. Electro, Episode 4

 Letters from Josh

  Mars Burns Bright 10/13/20                                                                           Letter 27

  Heya, folks!  Happy Mars Opposition!  Now, that sounds rather confrontational, but fear not, the Bringer of War isn’t in a political party, rather, opposite the Sun in our sky...a “full Mars”, if you will.  Unlike the moon, this happens about every 26 months, and about every 15 years, it occurs around when it’s closest to us.  Lucky for the Earthlings, this is just one of those times.  Look for it burning brightly in the east, rising around sunset, a lurid red eye blazing down, bloody in appearance from the iron oxide (“rusty”) substances in its soil.  How cool is that - throughout the eons, Mars has summoned stories of war because of...its dirt.  Ah, isn’t that how it usually goes?  I’ve got three telescopes out in the yard getting ready for an evening’s observing session, and some Handel pieces on the turntable for oboe and continuo.  If that isn’t an ideal October evening, I don’t know what is.  How’s everyone been over there?  I was hoping to solicit some “life hacks”, that is, helpful hints for good living today.  Just the other morning, I rose early, and washed my face with a steaming washcloth the very first thing.  Boy was that nice!  A senior buddy told me about this little hint, and as my grateful eyes greeted themselves in the mirror, the thought showed up:  “Hey, ask the crew for more “life tricks” like this in the next letter.”  So, do you have a clever way to fold a fitted sheet?  A snazzy lemonade recipe?  A way to cut a dado joint?  I’d love to hear.  Drop me a line!

And now, here’s this week’s installment of Dr. Electro!  Previously: Mabel appears for the first time, surrounded by smoke and international intrigue in an abandoned warehouse office.  Dr. E and Rutherford set out to stake out the orphanage, deciding to investigate a culvert, where they hear voices.  An ill-fated gust extinguishes their match, thickening the plot with a hearty serving of darkness.  Josh has no idea what’s going to happen, either.  

Dr. Electro - Episode IV - The League of Inquiring Minds 

  The smell of match smoke can be pleasant, and it reminded Dr. Electro of the quiet smile he’d get after striking and lighting a stick of incense, settling in for a cup of tea and a book on physics or botany as the rain fell outside the window.  His thoughts would drift in gratitude that he wasn’t exploring some God-forsaken corner out in the tempest, or at least, where a nasty head cold lurked. 

Unfortunately, tonight, he was on the wrong side of this visual, and as the last wisp of their hope of light curled up towards the dripping ceiling of the culvert, he sighed in resignation, missing his tea and warm chair.  He looked at Rutherford, or rather, where he had seen Rutherford last, as the blackness was inky to the extreme.  “Bugger!”  The sharp exclamation from the Englishman provided a location, and with as little sound as possible in the echo chamber, they crept towards the source of the voices they had heard. 

Glimmers started to appear on the walls, shy gleams, like hesitant guests on a wedding dance floor.  A corner - an ominous thing when one is sneaking -  a torch smoldering - an entrance to a side gallery.  Honoring their treaty with the shadows, the two men kept alliance and peered mightily at the flickering scene before them.  Crates were stacked, piled, and heaped in a vast space off the main channel of the pipe.  Some were cracked open, revealing volumes upon volumes of books.  Others were stamped with familiar and revered names:  DICKENS.  HUGO.  DOSTOEVSKY.  Several stuffed animals of the non-cuddly and decidedly real variety were propped against the wall in a vaguely ominous way, the aggression of the baboon in particular enduring in death, a testament to taxidermy. Just then, ten men with matching safari hats filed in, seating themselves around a massive oak table.  An eleventh joined them, his head bare, transcended of the safari hat, obviously the leader.  In a slight French accent, “Gentlemen, we now convene the League of Inquiring Minds.  Our pupils seem to be progressing rather quickly, I’m delighted to hear.” 

Uptown - At a swanky speakeasy called Club Vignette - Murphy alternated between boredom, and the meta-observation of boredom, with the fascination that provided.  Leaning against the bar, he pretended not to watch the red curtain hung against a discrete brick wall.  Revelers would pause there, thinking themselves unnoticed, and let their guard down for a split second.  They reminded Murphy of Cezanne’s painting The Harlequin, an unobserved clown in a moment of sadness. If the Jazz Age was empty room, the guns of the Great War seemed to echo still.  If this was really it, what was the point?  Ah, how he wished for meaning.

(To be continued…) 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Dr. Electro, Sawdust, and Groundhogs

 Letters from Josh

  Sawdust and Stories 10/05/20                                                                           Letter 26

    Hey there, folks, and happy October!  I was hurtling off to work today, zipping down the wooded lane on which I live, and the falling leaves almost escaped my notice...and then Autumn Leaves started playing on my mental radio.  Chasing sunbeams, the car scooted around a corner, where there, in the opposite lane, was a stunned and slightly injured groundhog.  Before any traffic could flatten the poor little fellow, I had turned around, blocked the lane and then...hmmm...He appeared to be irate, attempting to bite me.  Once, many years ago, Alvin the pet hamster (named in honor of a family friend, not the chipmunk), mistook my finger for a sunflower seed, and left a lasting respect for the force exerted by rodent jaws.  And Alvin was tiny.  Time was of the essence, so leaping into the woods, a big stick was found, and I helped him off the road so he could chill out  - flipping him gently like a giant omelette to safety, if the said omelette was trying to angrily bite the spatula. I think he’ll be alright.  He certainly had plenty of spite in him, and that considerably lengthened my great grandma Ruth’s life, so…  

  Have you ever seen a sawmill, mobile or otherwise?  I hadn’t, until yesterday.  A friend who’s an expert craftsman mentioned he was milling some logs, so up the road I went.  Another fellow, a retired forester who always thought these things were cool, had bought a massive trailer with hydraulic “flippers” and a gasoline-powered bandsaw.  They had placed an enormous tree on the trailer, and were slicing it lengthwise, like peeling a giant carrot. .Sure beats Home Depot!  And, much to my delight, they offered me a few of the “leftovers”, huge pieces of lumber with which to learn and build some quality items.  I can’t wait to learn how to work with this new format of the rough cut wood!  Do we have any craftspeople in the audience here?  Perhaps lumberjacks?  I’d love to hear stories!    And, speaking of stories...are you ready for the latest installment of Dr. Electro?  I wonder what he’ll get up to this time.  (The exciting part is - I don’t know, either.)

  Previously on “Dr. Electro”:  Rutherford outlines the strange behavior of the local orphans, their sudden interest in reading and rules, convincing Dr. Electro to join his cause.  Meanwhile, across town, an unknown figure paces in a gloomy chamber.”  

Dr. Electro - Episode 3 - Mabel at the Table

Rain falls universally, sometimes locally, and often mentally, and tonight was no exception. It tapped at the second story warehouse windows, joining the echoing footsteps of a solitary figure. The lampshade swung slightly, jarred by the pacing, and shadows danced on the walls.  The owner of the extra echoes suddenly plopped down at the table, a train making an unexpected whistle stop.  A flapper hat, blonde curls, and a fair cheek that had weathered enough storms to make its owner wise, yet balanced by a subtle display of heart to keep the bitterness off emerged in the light.  Mabel exhaled sharply, and rubbed her blue eyes.  The map of France was still there.  A few letters with international stamps sat next to the ashtray, and the glowing coal of her lit cigarette did little to shed extra light on the room, or the puzzle that stared back at her fatigued eyes.  The smoke drifted and swirled, matching her thoughts as her mind wafted gently to her thinking place.  

Approximately seven miles east, across town..

Dr. Electro and Rutherford slogged a soggy slog, with all of the requisite squishes of a gloomy autumn rain.  Precipitation in the winter that’s unfrozen brings the resigned observation that it could be worse, and April’s downpours at least adhere to the botanical promises that it’ll be worth the trouble (May flowers), but the autumn rain only sowed the seeds of doubt and an uneasy feeling for Dr. Electro tonight. Rutherford, on the other hand, seemed only to be bolstered by the clammy evening, a spark in his eye positively gleaming through the fog.  “Ah, here we are, ol’ chap!  The culvert by the orphanage!  Surely if there’s something nefarious afoot, it would somehow involve a culvert!”  Electro felt a tingle of adrenaline as the great pipe yawned in inky indifference to the storm, looming up above them as they turned the corner.  “There’s an access path over here, sport!”  Leaving his doubts, and perhaps his better sense, outside in the rain, Dr .Electro followed the Englishman inside.  A match was procured, but just as the flame sputtered to life, a sudden gust of wind snuffed it - and carried the sound of voices from further in the great pipe.  To be continued…  

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Dr. Electro hosts a Tea (Episode 2)

 Letters from Josh

  Grandpa Urban   9/28/20                                                                           Letter 25

  Howdy, folks!  How’s everyone doing over there?  Well, I feel like a darn grandpa.  Or, how I’d expect it to feel, at least in a musical sense.  Earlier this afternoon, my phone buzzed, and it wasn’t a mundane Monday message about political causes I never signed up for, or other trivialities.  No, it was a message from a former guitar student turned buddy.  “My debut album is online.”  We need to go back to a hot July Thursday afternoon a decade ago to get the full picture here.  Anthony had stopped by for his first lesson with his dad.  A beginner’s electric guitar emerged from a gig bag, and I showed him how to play what so many others have learned...Black Sabbath’s Iron Man.  He quietly mastered that song, and then another, and another . The summer faded into Autumn, like it always does, but Anthony defied the trends, and kept practicing.  The winter sleets fell, we both walked through good times and bad, and Anthony kept practicing.  And writing - and listening - and growing.  The years passed, we played shows together, recorded collaborations, and the day came when we “switched chairs”, and the student became the teacher, although we had become friends long before that.  And now, today, I sat down in my purple room, put on some headphones, and did some listening myself.  Wow.  Check it out on Spotify.  I couldn’t be more impressed. 

Two themes jump to the forefront:  1. The process is just as important as the finished product.  I’m so grateful I got to be involved a bit with the journey back in the day, and see him take it to fruition.  2.  One needn’t wait for an exotic locale, or the blessings of a famous record producer.  Start today, and see what happens.  A good work is undeniable, or, at the very least, a heck of a lot of fun to build.  Anthony, as I love to say...For those about to rock - we salute you!  Or rather, for those already rockin’, we salute you! 

  And now, folks, are you ready for the second installment of Dr. Electro?  "Previously on Dr. Electro - the Doc labors on a stormy night and watches his language, answering a surprise knock at the window.  His slightly-cracked friend Rutherford has come to call, with an entreaty to help “the Orphans”, whatever that means…”

Dr. Electro - Episode 2 - The Windows and the Orphans  

  Rutherford was a piece of work on a dry day, when he was calm, not caffeinated, with the sun shining, literally or metaphorically.  Cast him into a tempest, and well, the Doctor was reminded of his aunt from California...minus the bandana. It seemed unwise to offer coffee in his present state, so chamomile tea was procured from behind a giant battery.  “Calm yourself, man!”  “CALM?!” roared Rutherford in reply.  “CALM?  How can you request tranquility when Outrage is afoot?  Dare you relinquish a tizzy when Travesty scrawls abomination with an icy hand?”  His teacup rattled in the grimy saucer with such vengeance that Dr. Electro pulled up a chair. Resigning himself to whatever rants Rutherford brought with him, Electro settled in to listen, as an ill wind hunted misgivings in the corners. “Kingsley’s got to ‘em...I just know it.  When Sister Agnes went to the third floor last Wednesday, it was fine . Just fine.  A normal evening.  But then she thought she saw the books.”  “Books?”  “Yes, books.  For starters, kids these days don’t read.  They shoot each other with slingshots, or chase about like squirrels during a bumper crop of acorns, old chap, but never read!”  Rutherford was positively beside himself, and the Doctor had to blink to make sure there weren’t two Rutherfords waving their arms at him, sideburns quivering like the very squirrels he was referencing.  “They’ve been reading all week.  Nary a slingshot to be found, even among the rascals.  They just sit quietly, and are suddenly taking orders well - the nuns don’t even have to use rulers.  In fact, on Saturday evening, one reminded Sister Loretta not to be late with the baths.  Don’t you see what this means, man?” cried Rutherford, leaping up, and sending his teacup crashing on the floor.  “No” replied Electro, feeling the blood rush to his face in annoyance at the melodrama, leaning over to collect the shards.  “Well...I don’t, either.  I had hoped you would, old chap!”  “What’s in the books anyway?”  “Nobody knows!  They hide them and the sisters aren’t even sure that they exist.  But they keep catching glimpses.  And Monday night, Timmy went missing. A window was broken, too.”  Electro felt his curiosity begrudgingly replace ire, along with a dash of charity.  “A window?”  Maybe the kids needed some help.  At least it would answer the problem of Rutherford’s tizzy. 

As the rain fell, across town, a single lamp burned in a room of echoes, plus one…  (To be continued.)

Monday, September 21, 2020

Introducing Dr. Electro

 Letters from Josh

  Introducing Dr. Electro 9/21/20                                                                           Letter 24

Hey there, folks!  How’s everyone over there?  As COVID drags on and you’re surely growing tired of it all, remember, the CDC gives much guidance on masks, but has neglected to mention pants.  Make of that what you will (and you didn’t hear it here.)  Greetings and bad influence from...Professor Plum’s Library!  It’s DONE!  It’s DONE!  The room remodel is FINISHED!  Well - almost - is anything ever done? There’s a clock from 1896 that belonged to my great Grandmother ticking away, the classical radio station plays on a unit from 1962, and the dark wood floors catch the last of the evening’s light.  It’s fun to hear that everyone has been following along with the progress, so I thought it would be fitting to have the first dispatch from this room be a Letters from Josh.  All aboard!

  One time when I was playing my broom guitar in New York City (more about that another time), I heard a pure sound drifting up from the filthy subway entrance to the West 4th street station. Following the strains of baroque violin, I wandered below ground to find someone who would become a friend.  Alex was playing Bach and Vivaldi for the New Yorkers, a talented cricket in a concrete jungle.  He saw the photo of the Professor Plum room I posted online, and he commented “What is this?  Are you writing a sequel to The Raven?”  (The room intentionally looks old fashioned and mysterious.)  Bopping down the halls at work today, that question kept rattling around in my head, like the last few scraps of coffee in the can. 

  Why YES, this could be fun!  What if we embarked on a voyage of serial fiction?  A little nugget, a bit of a tale each week, something to look forward to?  I haven’t the faintest idea of what’s going to happen, both with the success of the format or the direction of the story, so I guess we’ll all be surprised!  And so, I’m pleased to introduce to you a man who arrived unannounced (in my head) this afternoon and is known as..

Dr. Electro  (Episode 1 - Rutherford Calling)

It was a dark and stormy night, although Dr. Electro would have preferred it to rain harder.  The rockstar Prince famously requested the same when the heavens opened on his Superbowl halftime performance in 2007, but Dr. Electro wouldn’t have known on this Jazz Age evening, eighty or ninety years prior.  He hadn’t built a time machine - yet.  The coils and wires gleamed in the gloom, and the four bulbs were understaffed in lighting a cluttered workbench.  A smell of ozone bit the air, unrelated to the thunderstorm in the distance.  Dr. Electro was thinking out loud, the electrons in his neurons seeming to pace the electricity in the massive strands of copper on the bench. 

“Where’s the damn..err..darn screwdriver?”  he muttered, rummaging around, checking his language.  His girlfriend was trying to clean him up a bit before her parents were introduced. Dr. E was smart enough to dream up fantastical dynamos and revolutionary circuits.  Unlike the ten thousand volts on the bench, though, he wasn’t exactly sure about the subtleties of Mabel, and his confidence was uncharastically shaky.  “Ah, there it is!”  Leaning in, carefully, carefully, around the glowing vacuum tubes, singeing three arm hairs, he turned a small screw, sweat beading on his forehead as the voltmeter started to climb.  “8,753  8,824  9,210 9,317” when...there was a knock.  At his window. 

What the Devil is that?” he barked to himself, head snapping up, almost dropping the screwdriver into disaster, and then wondering if Mabel’s parents would frown on mention of Lucifer in non-theological discourse, and then, remembering the knock at the window?  Squinting through the rain streaks was to no avail, so a grumpy creaking and sliding up of the pane matched the equally grumpy Dr. Electro.  “Who the heck is there?”  (Ah, he was getting better at this.)  “Shh!  They’ll hear you!” “Who?  What?  Who’s there?”  The azaleas rustled, and an oilskin hat popped up like a seafaring groundhog.  It was Rutherford, the eccentric, paranoid, well-meaning Englishman who had spent a bit too much time in a boiler room.  “The orphans need us, old chap!”  “Come in, come in, Rutherford”, Dr. Electro sighed.  The rickety workshop door slammed a gust of night rain out, and the Englishman dripped his way into the laboratory, waving his arms wildly.  “My good man!  The orphans!”  

(To be continued next week….)  

- Josh

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Spirits and Sawdust - Letters from Josh, Vol. 23

 Letters from Josh

  Spirts and Sawdust 9/15/20                                                                           Letter 23

  Hey there, crew!  How’s everyone doing over there?  If you’re having knee pain today - I can relate.  I’m stiff, sore, and achy.  Lyme disease?  COVID?  Nope, just...flooring!  That’s right, the floors are half down in the new room!  Remember the Professor Plum fiasco from last week?  I had painted the walls a stately admiral blue and then, upon getting a new gallon mixed to put a final coat on...somehow PURPLE ended up on the walls!  I went back to Home Depot, and said “Umm….”  They looked at the cans, figured out the date code on the label, and said “oh YEAH, that’s the day someone put purple in the blue machine!”  WHAT?  They tried to match the color, to no avail.  It was right then and there I fell in love with the shade.  Talk about super rare and obscure.  “Like my paint, man?  TOO BAD, you can’t get it!”  

  So, the walls a peculiar share of purplish blue, the flooring install has commenced.  My brothers stopped by last night, and gave me some mighty help.  We had the music going, the hammers were ringing, and I ran out of the room to go over to the garage saw to cut a piece to size.  Suddenly, the memories that had been flitting in and out of view all night snapped into view.  

  It must have been the table that I write from - a massive walnut slab dining room table we had built when I was 23 with my dad.  I glanced at it as I ran by, building yet another thing, and suddenly thought of all of the memories, efforts, and spirit embodied in these tools.  Back in the room was the nail punch I had learned to use when I was 9.  I remember struggling to get clean cuts and, anything.  The air compressor kicked on, like a telephone call from a long-ago neighbor who had given it to us kid brothers.  I hadn’t thought of Georgia in forever. She used to buy generic grape soda for us grimy barefoot boys, and give us an ice cold can on a blazing July day, the condensation half-rinsing the dirt off our hands.  How I’d like to stop by her back porch and sit in one of those plastic lawn chairs now.   

  My great-Grandfather’s rip saw hung patiently on the pegboard, a grizzled veteran of the Oak battles, waiting for another century of service.  I had it out for a spin the other night, it’s gruff voice patiently grinding through the fragrant pine board.  It was a contrast of the yippy yap of the little dovetail saw from my 7th birthday (I always liked strange gifts) that nipped around the trim of the doorframe, much like the neighbor’s toy dog that always tries to bite me.  

   “Brrrrrr!” whined the miter saw, as I brought the blade down, slicing cleanly through the hard oak board.  My stepdad gave me this years ago, when he was fairly new on the scene, and generously making sure I could install the first floor I’d ever done in my brand new house many years ago.  He really had gone above and beyond with it, and not only did I get a saw, but a philosophy that things were possible to do, and they might as well be done right.    

  Flipping on the bandsaw, there was the generosity of a buddy named Jim thrumming in the noise of the motor, making the difficult cuts possible, one kind deed continuing it’s ripple across my life.  Something that would take a half hour (with grave risk to a hand) now was safely done in five minutes.    

  The hammers rang, and the ghosts of the projects past watched and smiled.  One day, I’ll have built everything that I need to, and these tools can go on to the next craftsman, working at speed on a crisp September evening, using steel and wood to create something a little better, and make the world slightly less jumbled.  I’ll sit and smile, knowing that although the tools may be long gone, I’ll still have the recollections of the sawdust and spirits.  

  I’m sure every one of you has done some hard work in your life.  Let me know, I’d love to hear the stories!

  • Josh