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  • matthewwoodyard74

The Reward Is Worth The Work

Updated: Jan 13, 2019

Eaten Away

Working with wood those who are artists don’t simply throw the piece on the saw and cut it to become what they want, they pause and think about the possibilities. Those who fit the more eccentric side of the spectrum almost commune with a piece several times before deciding what it will become. They look at it, observe the ways in which the grain moves, and find joy and delight in the uniqueness of each piece and what it can become. When I work with people I find the same to be true, it is the uniqueness of the individual and the interaction with them that reveals not only what is hidden inside, but what it is they wish and will work to become.

In cutting into the log that these bowls come from I was reminded of the struggle I’ve observed in how people view themselves when they feel eaten away, weak or fragile, and even not worthy of the possibility of what they could become. Most wood workers would throw the wood used to create these bowls away. Hardly any would go to the lengths required to evict the tenants that had eaten away the best parts of what held the piece together. Those that remained as I sculpted deeper and deeper into the piece had to literally be plucked out of the wood. I think of those who have experienced true pain, to the very depths of their core. When I spoke with them they often couldn’t hear my words over the constant gnawing of the damage of those who had moved into their psyche. These unwelcome squatters were there to do nothing but leave them as no more than a shell and empty vessel on the verge of collapse.

Just like the piece in this picture, those who have endured this level of pain there is a beauty and strength hidden inside. They first must be willing to trust and have faith that not all has been taken from them. They must find gratitude in who they are and even the parts that they don’t like. Then comes the hard work of working down to the core with grace and determination, but also a forgiving and gentle touch. The true beauty comes from the realization that all of that hard, dedicated work, wasn’t even for them, but for those who haven’t yet sculpted, plucked, sanded, and polished their way to the beauty they hold inside.

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29 Ara 2018

Great advice

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