A Season Ago…

To be a green leaf on a tree, to be unaware, yet alive. In the spring I would come forth, vibrant, youthful and strong. My spine would be devoid of aching; resilient, beautiful in form and measure. Early season thunderstorms would push me around violently, but I would hold no grudges, nor would I recall the fright of such shocking and intense imagery. Later, I would sway in the soft breezes of lingering summer days, I would feel the heat, and thirst for a drink at times, but would have no inkling of what was to come. To be born young, live an enviable life, only to fall to an unknown place at the end of the year. My colors would have become beautiful beyond explanation in my twilight; reds, yellows and umber. There would be no ceremony, no sadness, no remorse, no lost memories or tasks unfulfilled, nor dreams fallen short and unaccomplished. To live without the effects of a human life; would, I think be a gorgeous dream. And in the end, to go back to the earth from which I’d come, lacking the scars certain to be accumulated from this thing we call life.  

 

I think we, as a civilization, lost sight of something when we removed our bare-feet from the earth, and ceased to live hand-to-mouth. We lost the immediacy and intimacy of the hunt, the gratification of the enrichment of soil, the true purpose of angling, the essence of life. And from these losses, we have forgotten the smiles of our loved ones, which would have given us renewed energy on a daily basis, as we provided for them vital, clean sustenance in their youth, taught them ourselves, the patterns of the earth around us, the cycles of the seasons, and when this or that was best accomplished as they grew into young adults. This is valuable, this is meaningful, this is how we amassed knowledge, interacted with one another, and passed our days. We used to be born with, live with, and die with our families and our communities; just like the leaves from the trees that tower above us still. In those earlier times, as we wandered along, so unaware of our utter importance and self-awareness, we may have lived shorter lives, but I would offer we were much richer, and without a doubt, more alive. We made what surrounded us stronger by our individual and combined presence, and that was innate. It came forth without teaching or indoctrination. It hasn’t been so long, but we have forgotten. If one of our own was sick, we cared for them, if they were unproductive, we cared for them, if they were angry, sad or lonely, we cared for them, if they were lost, we found them.

 

Of course there is debate as to when we first walked this planet; a few thousand years ago? An immeasurable quantity? Or perhaps somewhere in between. But, just a short time ago, when the only weapons we needed were crafted with our hands, from wood and earth and that which we harvested from her, our communities, or villages were certainly devoid of the technology and convenience we see today. But we lived much purer lives. In every conceivable way we lived more honestly with our environment. Our food, our daily rituals, the way we medicated ourselves were all done in much different ways. Our water was pure for centuries, at least, our skyline uninhibited by pollution, our ground untainted by poison. But our technology causes us to forget, and our convenience is killing us. Lost without calculators to tally simple numbers, and do any of us remember how many phone numbers we used to be able to recall? I would be surprised if a tenth of those that may read these words even remember their closest family members numbers anymore. Now, we live apart from those which are the closest to us in the universe, and for the majority of our lives. We rush across the planet in myriads of different directions, to find our fortunes, to stand on our own, to forge our own path. We leave those we are connected to by blood and past lives as a right of passage under constant societal pressure and judgement; in such a rush to find our life’s calling; we leave it completely unawares. And we do so at the cost of every relationship we’ve ever known. And so we pay for this. We lose ourselves into a race for wealth and things. We are bound by artificial timelines to graduate here, marry and have children here, retire and die here. It’s a lie. And it has bred absolutism, the most heinous of human traits. But it has not only bred absolutism, combined with our technology, our systems of communication and governance; it has bred societal absolutism. This has not been seen or discovered or publicly studied in our times. Not only have we become a polarized society with absolutist views, which lie mostly on one side of the political spectrum, or the other, but we have also, and simultaneously decided in unison, to look away from the assaults the information age has begun upon our foundational belief systems; religion, governance, marriage, etc. And thus we have become a race of people allowing themselves to be removed from any chance at redemption, enlightenment or positive furtherance.

 

We have become accustomed to violence and death, suicide and addictions as if those we once cared so deeply for are lost, in such short periods, for we no longer seek to find each other when we are gone, because we don’t go home at night anymore. What we become conditioned to, as humans, is horrifying. And we cannot see it for the trees. We don’t see individuals anymore, we see numbers. We don’t think anymore, we regurgitate and judge, and we do so based on a lack of knowledge, not a wealth of it. We read memes online and take the thought as scripture, as long as it fits our narrative, or our fractured view of the world we reside in. Even though an eight year old can create a meme. We watch one media outlet, as long as it tells us what we want to hear, and we lose the rest because it’s ‘negative’, or depressing, and we don’t want to hear the bad stuff ‘our side’ is capable of. And so we marginalize ourselves, long before anyone else has a chance to try.

 

I believe we took a wrong turn in the path of humanity a short time ago, and we see the painful results of this almost on a daily basis now. The only good news I can perceive, even though we seem to think it was so long ago, it was only a season, and if we can remember what family is, what true loyalty is, perhaps we will find our way back to what used to be the most important things in life.

 

I haven’t written this to debate anything, nor for ‘likes’ or ‘shares’, nor to alarm anyone. I personally have a lot to do yet. I wrote it because I think we all need to hear it. But honestly, if there is ever a next time, hopefully, I’ll be a leaf.

Advertisements

Sunday Thoughts

badday

We’ve allowed falsehoods and misinformation to permeate every facet of our society. Because we have stopped listening to each other, and we, or at least those who seek to understand the wider world around them through the media, now only listen to one side of the aisle.

We, as a society, and our near total inability, as a society, to battle cognitive dissonance, have allowed this to occur very easily. We have become so divided because we have lost the ability to be considerate and empathetic, unless of course, there’s a natural disaster. Otherwise, as soon as we hear or see something we don’t understand or agree with at face value, particularly when it involves any of our foundational belief systems, we, for the most part, become angry at the mechanism of the information, or who revealed it to us. Instead of seeking to understand that which we find so offensive, we instead demonize those who bring it to our attention. Instead of learning, growing, becoming introspective individually and further enlightened humans, we choose to give in to our lowest forms of humanity, in mass.

This is how wars are started, this is how the very wealthy few drive total strangers to kill one another. And it is repeated again and again in our history because it is our nature to be angry and evil towards that which we do not understand. It’s the easiest perceived way out. This has led to war, genocide, animal extinctions and ethnic cleansing all over our planet since the dawn of societies. It’s heartbreaking. There is nothing more painful, than to be aware of such things, and to be powerless to stop it. I don’t wish this sort of awareness on anyone. But the lack of logic and objectiveness that has taken hold of the citizens of this great country drives me to write these words. Thank God there are those left in this world that care not for the opinions of those who risk nothing, while criticizing those who risk everything for no gain whatsoever. We will all remember this is who we are at our core as a society and country before our individual ends.

All of our leaders have become purposefully divisive, corrupted and have no intentions of helping the ‘common man’. Instead they seek to render us powerless and marginalized. Our systems of media have become mouthpieces for the corporations and banks that feed the media machine. If I were to see one thing become universally understood by my fellow citizens in these times, it would be this. ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing’. -Sir Edmund Burke.

 

Southern Charm is Now Selling My Cedar Scrimshaws!

redfish

The unique boutique and gift shop Southern Charm is now selling my cedar scrimshaws.

Located in the Cary Towne Center, at 1105 Walnut St., Southern charm sells all kinds of original artwork, jewelry, glassware and crafts. It’s the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind gifts for those hard-to-buy-for family members and friends. They work with local artists and craftsman and also offer all kinds of products that can be customized for you, like my Star Sign pieces!

20620822_1487933954561701_2846518952586596785_n

I’ve shopped there myself for Christmas presents and met the owners a while back, which led to us reaching an agreement. So, I am really excited to be able to say we’ve signed contracts and cedar scrimshaws are in the store!

20767701_1495379903817106_1376097428324155745_n

So if you’re looking for unique gift ideas this holiday season, or you just want something original for yourself, please go check out the stuff at Southern Charm. You’ll be supporting a local store and local artists, and it is much appreciated!

Here is the product description for cedar scrimshaws.

Cedar Scrimshaws are created by utilizing dead-standing Eastern Red Cedar from NC. First, the pieces are cut to size, and then sanded to accept the artwork. Then, the artwork is hand-drawn on the wood. Afterwards, the pieces are either entirely or partially engraved, adding depth to the artwork, and then further enriched by adding mixed-media such as pastels, chalks, ink, color pencils and even water colors. Finally, the artwork is sprayed with Krylon to protect from an oops. The reason I choose cedar is simple. You can see it all across our country driven into the ground on farms for fence posts. It’s tough, rot-resistant, the grain is gorgeous, it’s insect resistant (termites won’t touch it) and it even smells fantastic! Pick up the piece you’re looking at and give it a whiff. Each hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind piece has a wealth of character in its grain and cracks, and don’t worry, the outer layer cracks a touch when the tree dies, but that’s the extent of it. Just don’t take it swimming haha, and these pieces of fine art are to be kept indoors in a temperature controlled environment. We can also offer the ‘Star Sign’ pieces for any month you want, just ask a Southern Charm employee to take your information and we can get a personalized, fully original piece of art just for you.

Christmas Dinner Story

I wrote this a few years ago on Christmas morning.

It literally woke me up and was written on my phone using notes and later posted it on Facebook. I hadn’t saved it. I was glad to be reminded and certainly have it now.

Christmas Dinner Story

Funny how time can slip away, your three steps closer to the dawn

Big sun draws nearer to the horizon,

Old planks stripped of all their paint – and falling off the barn

A young boy awakens on Christmas morning, and finds just enough waiting to yell

Tin can holds nothing but lint, and dust, and an ancient fire’s embers

And the old man remembers well

But as the years go by, and the old oak grows towards the sky – Autumn leaves have fallen again

Sunsets go, and sunrises welcome new beginnings

The old man sighs and says, “Northwest winds pushed waves across the open ocean,”

A young boy smiles at him

 

I’ve found my home here, among the splintered wood, with that beautiful grain

I’ve found a new place to lay my bones; I’ve found where I will lay

 

A bitter smell brings back that longing, empty nostalgia,

You see that old dog hunting again

A promise to meet each other, in that great big open meadow, will be kept unto the end

And when the smiles, laughter and smells seem to remedy,

Suddenly the tears are falling

The mantle in that old home place, is aged and warm with memories

You’d love to hear the stories it could tell

Generations of loved ones and family traditions, in this place you’d remember well

The fat crocking ham put away for a Christmas dinner story,

A hidden jug of shine, in the cellar, beneath the boards there,

An old wily whitetail hangin in the barn

But that’s another story to tell

 

I’ve found my home here, among the splintered wood, with that beautiful grain

Photos of Late..

sagittariusscorpio

I’ve got a rain here in Cary today today, so I’m working on woodworking projects, but I decided to share a few pics I’ve taken lately. The Sagittarius piece is the companion piece for my Stepfather, the Scorpio was a birthday gift for my fellow Scorpio Mom.

yak

I got out Saturday afternoon for a Surf n’ Turf attempt. However the fish weren’t biting, and the deer are still pretty darn scarce in my neck of the woods around Jordan Lake at least. EHD is still hampering numbers badly. But it was a beautiful day and evening nonetheless.

gastonchain

This is a spot on the lower half of Gaston Lake. I’ve always thought the chain was really cool so I took a pic.

Below are just some random shots I thought were kind of neat. Sort of work-in-progress pics.

And the mill in progress…

mill

The Rut is On!

9pt2

I had a few hours in the afternoon after seeing my clients for the day, and with the rut going on for a week or so….

This is why we go.

In an attempt to explain to non-hunters why average Joes go…we don’t go to kill, that’s a farce, we don’t go to escape anything, we go to live. And we are keenly aware we are never absolved of the responsibility of the death of an animal; deer, pig, cow or otherwise, simply because we allow a farmer to kill it and then give him money for his efforts.

Make no mistake, if you pay, you kill. So you may as well, obtain your anti-biotic free, steroid free, hormone free, organic meat yourself. Re-connect to nature and the land, you won’t be sorry.

Took the afternoon off and hit the woods. The rut is on in my areas, which are public lands. No wind. No brainer.

I slow stalked in and the deer were moving. After walking in nearly a half mile, I came across a spike and watched him browse an area before moving on. I was pumped. Deer movement in early afternoon is good. Then, a doe busted me after another quarter mile.

This spot is two miles from the road. A very rich area I found years ago. Got on stand just inside a thicket and got set in. After maybe an hour I heard crashing coming thru the woodlot. Then a sight that may change my stance on killing coyotes. Two of them dogging a yearling doe. I didn’t have a shot anyway but I know how that ended. Never shot one. Don’t like killing if I’m not eating. I know it’s natural for coyotes to do that but damn.

So anyway the squirrels went crazy, probably from hearing my heart pounding in my chest. If you’ve never heard the calls and barks of alarmed squirrels in the woods, you are missing out on a very social event. After hearing that commotion coming my way I thought for sure a buck was chasing does, not a coyote.

Talk about blood pumping.

So then I decided to rattle; to try and shut the forest noise down and hope a buck might think he ought to investigate. I knew no self-respecting doe would enter the area after all that commotion. So I started tickling antlers at first.

Ten minutes passed. Nothing, and the sun had set.

So I went ahead and crashed ’em good. Grunting with my call at the same time. The first 3 weeks of the rut is the best time of the year for rattling; really the only time of year. So I raised hell with ’em for a good three or four minutes.

I heard the deer as soon as I put the antlers in my bag. It walked directly behind the tree, probably to within thirty yards easy; exactly how I’d come in; through the edge of the thicket. I couldn’t even see a bit of him. My heart was absolutely wailing again. I wish non hunters could imagine what this is like. He stood there forever and never moved. I thought he was gone and after end of legal light and dark, he blew like crazy when I got down.

Smart fella.

I thought he was gone for sure. That’s a mature deer. So after my heart was out of palpitating stage, I finished climbing down 30 feet and exited the woods. Best hunt in five or six years and I never thought of pulling the trigger.

 

Be Very Quiet…It’s Muzzleloader Season

smokepole

I decided to get the ole Muzzleloader out and clean it up this morning.

My CVA hasn’t been out of the closet in a year, so I took it apart and cleaned the breach plug and barrel. It wasn’t too dirty, but I always clean the ‘ole smokepole’ before taking it out each season.

Muzzleloaders, should in fact, be cleaned at least every other shot for the most part. Not doing so can either cause a misfire, because the breach plug is fouled, or seriously affect the accuracy of the gun; which is no good when aiming at a live animal.

So I’m going grocery shopping this afternoon, even though it’s about 80 degrees out there. It’s Fall, and the sun is out. I take responsibility for a large portion of the meat I eat every year. I think it’s much better that way.

Hunting should be taken very seriously, and I have never even shot at an animal I have no desire to eat. I don’t judge others who sport hunt, but I do not take part in killing for any reason other than sound wildlife management or the table fare.

So I’m off to the wood, in search of steroid and antibiotic free meat, in search of peace in the shadows of large oak trees, to watch and learn from the forest and to allow myself a day of rewilding and reconnecting to this earth.