Sunday, October 30, 2016

Thoughts upon Stacking Firewood



I think I would get the firewood stacked faster if I did not examine every piece. Mother called it lolly gagging. Teachers said I did not pay attention. And Miss May, who lived next door, said it was woolgathering, but sooner or later I would have enough to knit a sweater. Or write a blog or create a painting. Seriously there are some interesting things in your woodshed.

And stacking firewood is not dissimilar from the Zen revolution of Chop Wood Carry Water. 


"Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water"



And maybe checking out all the unique pieces of wood isn't exactly what the Zen masters meant by chop wood, carry water. But I find piece in doing routine and repetitive tasks. Gandhi spun wool, literally. I stack firewood or drive the empty miles of the high plains or carry water to my studio plants. And sometimes I find enlightenment and sometimes a good photograph or a painting or great piece of wood I can use for something other than to burn.

Sometimes I discover answers to issues I shoved to the back of my mind. And solutions to problems I was not even aware I was pondering. And now and again a revelation or enlightenment. Some people pray but I stack firewood. Or drive to Raton. Or go for a walk with my camera and dog. I have never been able to just sit or kneel. I chop wood, carry water.


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