...the work of a craftsman is not unlike that of a monk or nun or other kind of ascetic. For however many hours a day the craftsman dedicates herself to the materials of her art. She steps around her longing for an easy, unexamined day and tries to peer through the illusions of the stubborn wood and the refusing posture of metal. She sees, accepts, and calms her own reactions of frustration, of terror, of boredom, of denial, and avoidance.
Whether we notice it or not, the shop is the scene of a craftsman’s psychodrama and she must find a way through her own fractured emotional, mental, and spiritual material. In the end, she must have something like compassion for her wood, her metal, and herself. Something nonviolent must appear that nevertheless prods, coaxes, and prays for new light and new possibilities. Craftsmanship and spiritual evolution require the same miraculous fusion of compassion, honesty, & intensity – employed to different ends, they have the same aura about them.
Both give us a more organic sense of the miraculous where a little attention here, a short pause from the efforts, or a meditation on the deeper forces at play, can allow small miracles to take place. These invisible, organic miracles accumulate into visible, tangible transformations.
The sacred tree of life grows
into the openness of our prayer
and into the place of our infirmity.
Sculpture And Words above by David Orth.