into the woods

the leaves are turning beautiful colours and, one by one, falling quietly from their perches. I was walking back from children’s classes at Jay and Diana’s yesterday, looking at all the leaves, appreciating them (and the fact that I could still go out without a jacket). fall is such a beautiful season. everybody has a favourite season; my favourites are fall and winter. I love the colours and the nipping cold winds of fall, and the cool, soft white landscapes of winter. Sure, I enjoy the freedom and glory of summer, but the quiet, introspective intimacy of winter is especially close to my heart. Just don’t ask me to drive in winter. Shovelling walks is fine, but not driving.

Anyway, speaking about woods (as we were), Martin and I joined a woodworking class today at the Wabano Centre. What did we do? This:

paddle

We basically made paddles from scratch, according to our teacher’s specifications. next class, we’ll be using wood-burning tools to engrave things into them, and, once that’s done, we’ll stain and varnish them. The class was real fun, and the people taking part in it were great and had excellent senses of humor. The experience helped reawaken the knowledge I already had about woodworking, and it turned out to be easy to pick up the basics. To his credit, Martin also had clear experience in the matter and gave me some good tips. Our teacher, Byron, showed us a paddle he had made last month, which just blew us away with how beautifully shaped and engraved it was. Practice makes perfect, or at least really really good!

Ruhi Book Seven, as part of the unit on the importance of arts in study circles, states that crafts (including things like sewing, weaving, pottery, and, of course, woodworking) are a divine science:

Craftsmanship is a book among the books of divine sciences, and a treasure among the treasures of His heavenly wisdom. This is a knowledge with meaning, for some of the sciences are brought forth by words and come to an end with words.

Bahá’u’lláh

So there you go – extra motivation, if there wasn’t enough before. No wonder that, later in the same section of the book, we find Bahá’ís are encouraged to learn one of these crafts in addition to their regular trade or profession. It’s Divine Science For Fun And Profit.

For your enjoyment and gratification, here’s another picture of one of the side-effects of starting out in woodworking (don’t knock it though — developing a rewarding hobby is worth a few nicks and gouges early on.)

bandaged fingers

also known as “getting your fingers
sliced up for fun and profit”

One thought on “into the woods

  1. I just watched a television program about origami, the art of paper folding. It’s becoming ever more sophisticated as art and science, and finding more applications such as automobile airbags and also a telescopic lens which unfolds when it reaches outer space.

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