Archives for December 10, 2020

The Agony of Defeat

After carving the man with the beard, I turned my attention to my spoon project.

I had drawn an outline of it on a chunk of wood and now and again over the last week, I would pick it up and work on it until my hands were just too tired. It was very discouraging because there was so much extra material to remove.

I don’t have a band saw or even a coping saw to do that. For larger spoons, woodworkers use a small axe to cut away all that excess wood to make what they call a ‘spoon blank’. THEN they start to shape and refine it with their carving tools.

I had to do my ‘axe work’ with a knife. Every time I worked on it I thought…This is never going to work.

And in a way it won’t. I have to find a better way. But purchasing a band saw is not in the cards for me.

Last night when I went to bed, I had to look failure right in the sneering eyes and admit that perhaps this time I had sawed off more than I could whittle. It wasn’t pretty. I was very glum.

I mean who says I get to do just any old thing my heart desires? Some things are beyond our skillset and body strength. That doesn’t mean the rest of our life is not worthwhile, right?

(We are talking about you here. Your insecurities are legendary. I imagine you are going to need some therapy. I’ve heard there’s a pretty good Jungian right here in town. Want me to give her a call?)

You really think I’m that pathetic?

(Well, frankly…..)

Oh shut up.

So this morning I got up with a little better attitude. I thought… what would it hurt to just whack away on the lumpy little indistinct, disastrous looking rectangle of wood for a little while longer?

So I picked it up and looked at it in a different way. And it happened. I SAW the spoon in it. Before that moment, I really couldn’t see it.

But…. the harsh reality was still in front of me. A lot of wood had to be cut away. The hard way.

I had to stop and rest my hands about three times. I worked on it for two and a half hours. Which is an obscene amount of time for so small an object and I was ever aware of my inefficiency and ineptitude.

To add to my anxiety, I realized that I really had no actual PLAN of how to make it the shape I wanted. I was guessing the whole time. There was no, step one, step two, step three…. it was a series of WTF do I do now? I’ll try this… no…. how about this….? It’s terrifying. And I felt relentlessly incompetent.

But at a certain moment, as I was turning it around for the nth time, suddenly… that little chunk of wood looked like a spoon! A real spoon! I laughed out loud!

However…. it was a good hour until I was finished with it.

I don’t even know what to say at this point. I’m dumbfounded myself.

Here it is:

It came from a slightly less thick, but similar chunk of wood.

Yeah… I took a lot of pictures. Indulge me.

And here is is in my very sore and tired hand so you can see the size of it.

You would think something that small would not be so difficult. And it is entirely possible that I made a rookie mistake by trying to make a first spoon so small. Too late now. 🙂

I intend to use it as a scoop for my loose leaf tea I make every morning. I oiled it with coconut oil.

I will say, that spoon number two will be approached from an entirely different angle. Better planning…. involving power tools.

But that’s another story for another day.

Tea anyone?