The Shop

A twelve-step program for compulsive tool buyers might help. But I have a thing about being away from my tools for meetings. Just taking the time to write this keeps me away from browsing the Lee Valley site, not to mention Rockler, Woodcraft, and Highland Woodworking.

A Rangeley Boat

it was the reek of pure Old Woodsman. Over the long lifespan of the boat, gallons must have been spilled in it, because no amount of restoration would ever remove all that smell.

Flotation

Sitting on the float, I could look at my reflection in the water. If I shifted focus, I could see the thousands of small jellyfish swarming around the float and the nearby wharf.

Twentyone

The problem with imagination is that it's boundless. On the wall is a poster telling you that you can do it if you can imagine it. Don't take it too literally.

Riding

I have to quit driving straight through from North Carolina to Massachusetts in one go. The fifteenth hour of driving is the worst.

Cardinals

Periodically the landlord, other tenants, the current resident feature of the Teahead's affection, caused a general eviction.

True Places

"Queequeg was a native of Kokovoko, an island far away to the West and South. It is not down in any map; true places never are." Herman Melville

Welcome Mat

the Teahead of the August Moon- thought a poet and psychic would be an exciting addition to our menagerie of odd bits and pieces.

Boxes and Spills

An old saying says, "Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole." Well, this time, I was deep into hole territory. A simple build turned major construction.

Playtime

If your play is your business, you have to take care that the fun remains in the mix - or you might find yourself doing something you hate.

On The Road

What's the old saying? If wishes were horses, beggars would ride? Well if you were hitching around in the 1960's you wished a lot and sometimes rode.

Collections

My mentors were just that, mentors. Several couldn't afford the expense that having an actual apprentice would cost; others were not interested. But then by the 1960s, the old apprenticeship programs in crafts like carving were gone.

RITUAL

That's right, the booze-filled evenings with crazy dance tapes. Dancing till four AM, even if it was sometimes with enemies, was normal. Tomorrow in the colloquium was tomorrow. Tonight we danced our unity as a tribe.

Short-Timer

There was a tradition when I was in the Navy of the "Short-Timers Rope." The rope, or sometimes chain, had as many knots ( or links) as remained in the sailor's enlistment. At the end of each day, a knot, or link, was cut off. I saw this happen at meals.

May Flowers

Just a few weeks ago, I was talking about bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches, and trout lily. Those early ephemeral spring flowers are gone as I write this in mid-May. They come and go as things warm up and as the days become longer.

Sources

In January, I started what I thought to be a quick project for a portrait of the halibut Schooner Republic. There was not much online where I began, and even less available in terms of print sources. My collection at home also came up dry. I was able to complete the project in March but wished that I had better documentation.

Heading For The Breakwater

Accuse someone of having poor skills as a sailor. Accuse them of being a lousy cook. Accuse them of stupidity. But, the worse thing you can do is stick the Jonah label on anyone. It's like a stripe of paint down your back. It holds and ruins your reputation.

Worms

Clancy was a bloodsport type of cat. If no other cat or dog were available to pick on, he'd pick on me.

Free

Free is a dangerous word, and worse, it's a slippery concept. Why? Well, it opens the path for the abuse of generosity.

Smooth

I am not a super fan of Bob Dylan, but a line from one of his songs has always summed it up for me: " He not busy being born is busy dying." Grow, change, keep being born.

Fast

New England spring is not extravagant. Miss something today, and it'll be a year before you see it again. Don't waste time; Spring is fast.

Fieldwork

When I lived on or traveled to coastal Maine in the seventies, I was tied closely to my wife's home town by bonds created by that marriage. Back at the university, I was for studying for a career in anthropology. In Maine, I was understudying for the Cap'n on board his 34 foot ketch, being introduced as his son, and learning how to fit in.

Molasses Cookies

It's been decades. But every time I visit Portland, it's inevitable that I'll think about those cookies. Losing a good friend is always hard, but losing a great molasses cookie. That's tragic.

The Artist Statement

Many artist's statements are full of hyperbole, vague statements, and references to famous people that no one has read, but that they heard about in an art history course. The artist's statement Bill's friends had provided avoided most of that. It was modest. We changed that.