My grandfather whittled.
My uncles whittle.
I remember the smell of the wood, the leathered hands, the showing of little knives, the display of projects…names drawn…which of the hundred of us would win this priced piece to be shared with family? Oh me! Pick me! And a few times, they did. Baskets woven. Little topiaries with painted stems. Wall Hangings.
Why take a branch and begin to form it, smooth it, shape it…into something else? Why spend the time?
I don’t know.
I do know that working with your hands eases your mind.
I know that sharing something you’ve made is rewarding. Simple. Clarifying.
Faltering people. Skilled hands. Shaped gifts.
Lately, I feel whittled.
Things carved from my life that seemed the best things.
On and on, seeming losses occur which I try to accept as part of the shaping. I try to allow the smoothing. I force rest under the pressure, the paring.
And there goes the other side…carved off.
I wonder if there will be anything left.
It doesn’t look very beautiful to me yet, I have to say. I just feel stripped bare sometimes. I am not grieving as if with no hope. I have hope…from year’s past with my Maker, I know there is something coming. Something lovely. Something more than I would have asked for. Yet, at the moment, there is “feeling” to manage.
Depression. Anger. Bitterness. Frustration.
Getting up in the morning and feeling low. Perspective dim.
Not ready for it.
Still feeling very winter.
Thankful, yet stripped.
I could list the large events of stripping of the year, but I won’t. None of them alone has done me in. It’ s been the cummulative effect of all of it that is wearing on me. I wonder when the page will turn and when I will begin feeling the filling again rather than the empyting.
I wonder today if maybe it’s me. Trying to fill with a lot of things that while distracting (and that is something good), do not really FILL. Wondering if my habits are contributing to the problem. Or lack of habits. Wondering if I need to make some changes, get back into some disciplines, and find the filling.
I will try.
Lord, I need the filling. The joy overflowing. The sweetness of life. The knowledge that the enemy is not stealing from me in my down-ness. I want to possess the land you’ve given and not worry with what you’ve whittled. Such small things, really, in the grand scope of all you give.
Keep my focus on you, Lord.
My eyes, fixed on you.
Grace me to do what needs to be done, even in disciplines, or I will not get them done.