Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Fear of wood

     Many years ago a well known award winning local architect  was tragically killed whilst chainsawing a tree on his land. It fell on top of him and one immediately thought how could this happen to such an intelligent well organised person but it also served as a reminder of the yin and yang of life, that wood is a provider but one could also potentially die from a splinter. 
      For much of my life I was blessed with a wonderful gift of confidence to do anything with wood, I had no fears and nearly twenty years ago when totally re designing and re building the roof of my home I also built timber scaffolding out of two by two which I left up for nearly a decade on the back of my house! 
     In a previous blog I described my near escape from death last November when I clambered onto the roof to do some repairs and found I did not have the strength to pull myself up onto the dormer window roof. Well I found the strength hence I am here to write this but am now faced with the same challenge of sorting the roof out and building a stable platform. The problem is I am terrified of setting foot on the 45 degree roof pitch quite apart from avoiding looking down four storeys. I used to be a rock climber at school and followed the A team up the Derbyshire gritstone Black Rocks in just gym shoes and no ropes. I never experienced this fear before and although I am sketching out designs for a timber scaffolding structure to hook over the ridge I have the fear for the first time in my life that wood will fail me, that however I construct the scaffolding the fibres might tear, the screws might sheer etcetera etcetera. 
     Fear is a dangerous thing! So I am provaricating/procastinating and making extremely slow progress and fearing the very thing that has given me joy and confidence since I was sixteen - wood. So as you go through life, not knowing why you are here or how long you will be here for and stepping outside the social conditioning of leaving the nest and creating your own little nest and following the conveyor belt of life, drinking beer and following football teams on the way what else is there?!
    Some might stop to ponder at how life seems to deal out certain cards at different times and that some of those cards maybe interpreted as lessons. Is it merely a game of Monopoly at the rolling of dice? 'Go to gaol', 'collect a wife' or 'collect diabetes as you pass'? Of course one of the lessons taught is you can't take it with you but obviously not a lesson learned as money is seemingly even more of a God today. The late Paul Getty, richest oilman on the planet in the 70's (whose art foundation once purchased one of my furniture designs) had a deep fear of poverty and brought himself up from the gutter, so fear can be a great motivator as well as energy seeper. Certainly thinking too much can be a serious damper. 
    On my observations even the most clever people appear to think very little about major life events in the sense of cause and effect and just as the 'nature versus nurture' argument persists I also wonder if being master of your destiny or victim of fate is a similar puzzle? Certainly no one I know is in control of their lives but it keeps you sane to think you are. Now, lets get over this silly fear of wood and start thinking positive again. In fact, better than that - get back to the doing.