Then, and Now

He took his time with the adze, setting it against the wood with relaxed precision and drawing it across the grain as though floating a scarf through the air.

The bright curls of oak drifted down onto the toes of his boots.

He set the adze aside and ran his hand along the smooth board, smiling beneath his mustache. “Like that,” he said.

“You make it look easy.”

“It is easy,” he said. “It’s we who are hard. I’d take that coffee now.”

Sitting outside with our steaming mugs, he lit his pipe and looked over the harbor. “My great-great-great-grandfather arrived here on a Nantucket whaler. We’ve been here ever since.”

I wrote 5th generation in my notebook.

“A rootless people are disconnected,” he said. ” Is it any wonder they no longer care about the earth?  They are so busy that they never get a chance to know it.”

What Pegman Saw: Newfoundland

I came across this great website and was inspired by the way these boatbuilders approach their craft.

12 thoughts on “Then, and Now

  1. Perfect theme for current themes around the wold – like humanity andclimate change topics coming up this month.

    Enjoyed the setting and pieces of wood scraps – mustache – pipe smoke – and could imagine the astute interviewer listening in and taking notes..
    And the social psychology part – busyness – possibly uprooted – going to check the link you provided now…

  2. AS others have said, you put us right in the time and place, sitting next to the interviewer, listening and watching. You have to move slow to see nature – something many of us aren’t very good at. Great writing as always, Josh

  3. Your descriptive writing in this story is superb – “drawing it across the grain as though floating a scarf through the air” is truly wondrous. And what a reflective, tranquil atmosphere you create.
    Kudos!

  4. There’s something so reassuring and calm, imagining being in a long line of people who took pride in doing something well, something worthwhile that you also value and can be sure about. You paint that well.

  5. You really get the feel of this man’s skill and pride in his craftsmanship. I like the connection between having deep roots in the land, and caring what happens to it, to the seventh generation–only two more, in his case.

Don't just stand there.