- The word will be posted every Friday, I will try to post it here by Friday or Saturday.
- FIFTEEN minutes is all you get to write.
- You don't have to start writing the minute you see the word, but you must set a timer once you're ready to write.
- You can fix typos and grammar mistakes and such, but you cannot add anything more to the exercise once the 15 minutes are done.
- What you write has to pertain to the chosen word in some way.
- You must write a minimum of 100 words.
Once again, the word for the week is June 15-21st is: Journey
Now - go write!!
His gnarled hands encased hers. In hers, she held a block of wood, wood she thought was useless, with that big knot in the middle of it.
He helped her turn it over and over, to look at it with new eyes. A skilled woodworker, he caressed the grain and pointed out the potential. Removing his hands from hers, he handed her the tools of his trade: a chisel, a file, a rasp, and sanding paper. "This will take time", he informed her. "The end will not be clear in the beginning. Go with you feelings, listen to your compass."
Hesitantly, she picked up the chisel. It was awkward in her hand and did not obey. Patiently, he let her try a few more times to gouge the wood, to master the tool. When he saw the anger flash across her face, he took the tool from her and demonstrated. “Apply a consistent pressure, follow the grain, don’t force the design,” he instructed. And just like that, a long wooden curl appeared.
Inhaling the smell of pine, she tried again. Soon a rough shape emerged. It seemed forever that she worked – a shape appearing – but no meaning behind the lines she was carving. Every direction she chiseled the knot seemed to interfere. Exasperated once again, she laid down the block and walked away. Wisely, he let her go. From time to time he talked to her about the rasp and the sandpaper and the file.
One day, many years later, the block of wood appeared at her house still in the crude shape she’d left it, along with the wood working tools. Still in the crude shape she’d left it. Yet somehow, the tools seemed to fit her hands better. Slowly she worked. In her head the admonishment to work with the knot, and not around it, reverberated. Picking up the more delicate file, she highlighted the knot, exposing the intricate swirls and whirls of growth and aging. Carefully, transforming the block into beauty, she learned how even a delicate tool like sandpaper, can mar a surface in unintended ways. The file, she learned, not only smoothed and removed, but could add texture to the piece.
Frequently, she called and wrote to the master woodworker. "How do I do this? What about this?" And, every step of the way, he held her hand and encouraged her. Sometimes he let go – only so she’d realize she’d been in control all along without his guidance. The piece still isn’t finished. Still she calls for his help. Still he is generous with his advice. Wise with it too, always waiting until it is solicited, never trying to change the design, just pointing out other ways the block can be carved – that allows the natural beauty to shine through.
The master woodcarver and the journeyman woodworker, walking along side by side on the path of life.
Happy Father’s Daddy, from your work in progress,