Custom woodworking and art
I like thinking about the answer to that question.
“Ya can’t get what ya want if you don’t know what it is.” tim joe comstock, trailer park philosopher.
“Ask yourself, if I won the lottery, what would I do with the rest of my life? Then go ahead and start doing that.” ibid.
National Public Radio used to run those Alan Watts talks at one pm every afternoon. I would listen to them, sitting on my cooler, eating my sandwich, drinking my water. I was surrounded by sawdust and craft and it wasn’t so bad, as earning-a-living goes. I definitely was doing it for the money, but…it wasn’t so bad.
In my day, I have had heroes. They were real and they did those things, that carpe diem stuff and they sailed the oceans and hacked through the jungles and braved the Antarctic and lived fully, lived their dreams and in almost every case there was a family, back there, a family without a Dad, struggling to get by while the Great Man did great man stuff.
Hemingway was an uber-dick. Shackleton’s wife and children lived in poverty and fear. Bernard Moitessier abandoned his wife and children to roam the oceans…
There is art and craft in all of us. I yearned mightily to be a hero, to live a life unblemished by normalcy. I also had kids. I had kids and there is a mighty art and unbelievable craft in being a Dad. It was a job thrust upon me by simple biology that I still don’t quite understand, but I rose to the challenge and now I have two grown sons who are so self-confident and cocky that I shudder to contemplate what I hath wrought. But I did it and there they are and now, freed from responsibility, it is my time to do all that carpe diem stuff.
But the bullshit part of Alan Watts’ wonderful show and books and life is that he was an entertainer. He was a bullshit artist and a jester and a wonderful entertainer and listening to him again, tonight, gave me hope and I want to base jump and spelunker and live the wonderful magic life that was denied to me by biological imperatives…but …
He was just a bullshit artist.
The zen lies in a happy man in his prime, standing astride a trailer-load of fresh-caught potentiality, harvested from a wood near his home. His old man is there. His old man is there, and together they got those logs on that trailer. The zen lies inside the heart of the sister-woman, cruising through the job that pays the bills, while stealing minutes and hours here and there to tell the world a new truth that they don’t deserve. She is a mirror, a fun-house mirror and therein lies the zen.
On the other side of life I see it now. The Chinese people, throughout history, (and that is a history with some, uh, history…) have been nothing if not hard-working. They are the hardest-working race on the Planet and there it is: the zen lies not in recreation, it is hard work and responsibility and paying the dues and then, just before the lights go out: there it is. You did it right. You worked hard and you did it right and now, without getting involved in the marketing of god or your own soul you did everything just right and what it was about all along was hard work. Hard work. All along it is just about getting the job done. Everything else is jesterism and entertainment.
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