Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pole lathe offsets political grief

Politics is an ugly business. I quit after 6 years of work as an elected District Councillor because I was so upset after a committee meeting that I nearly had a motoring accident. Now I am less involved in direct face to face politics, simply doodling around with political ideas, but it still gets heavy sometimes. Primarily on the email lists, which I find are usually so dysfunctional as far as refining ideas and arriving at conclusions are concerned that I wonder if they have any value at all.

It is ironic that email lists devoted to scientific topics should be as emotion-charged as any others, if not more so. I try never to return insults (one useful technique is to head the response with a Pejoratives Excised header, and cut and paste all the emotionally charged words, then get down to tackle the arguments themselves).

Today I was a bit upset by an insulting response, and used a Quaker imaging technique for dealing with upsetting people. You imagine them surrounded with an aura of beneficial light. This has the effect of associating the other, not with the offence, but with positivity, which neutralises the offence, and stops your mind working out nasty responses. It works. Try it. It is also a useful antidote for worrying about people. The person (perhaps a family member who has got some kind of trouble) becomes associated with the beautiful light, instead of a cloud of worries.

So then I went outside to do some wood turning.

Here's the gear: all made from scratch. There is nothing so satisfying (well, maybe there is) as going out among the trees to select a suitable bit of wood to use as the spring.

I seem to be settling into a routine of replacing handles for spades &c. This means that the tool is brought back into service, displacing the need for a new tool to be manufactured.

I need to go out and finish it.


Keith Ramsey said...

I've always found working with wood to be very therapeutic, and I think it's a great pity that it doesn't seem to be taught in schools any more.

Another favourite subject at school was metalwork, and I've always thought that I'd like to get my hands on a forge, but perhaps that just reflects my levels of stress.

weggis said...

"I've always found working with wood to be very therapeutic, .."

Yes, it's the sharp chisels that are dangerous!

DocRichard said...

Yes, and I ask patients who are professional carpenters if the are happy in their work, and most say they are.

Weggis, The cuts are Natures way of telling us to be mindful of what we are doing.

I always think of your "Power tools are for wimps" crack. Every time I pick up my B&D.

EWHH said...

Gardening is also wonderful productive healing for mind and body - but even that can be dangerous for vaguely clumsy types like me. Eye gouging on sticks and toe chopping with spade are the biggest worries ...

DocRichard said...

Danger is inherent in every human activity. Stay in bed - you get Thrombotic problems. Get up - you may fall over.

Every time I pick up a form i remember the gardener who received the news that King George had died. "No!" he said, and plunged the fork through his foot.