I was in the middle of a depression. The sudden and unjust death of my previous church career drove me there, but that doesn't matter for the story. I was in so far that I couldn't trace my way back to the start and far enough away from an end that the depression itself caused more depression.
I needed to struggle to stay alert, to stay alive. I climbed trees. I traveled. I laughed with friends. I screamed at churches. I overreacted to church staff. I sat for weeks on my front porch staring into nothing, unable to read even one chapter of the book I’m holding. I cried, yelled, argued with ghosts of the past, and flicked off houses of people who fired me as I drove by. But struggling only proved to suck me in even more.
I wrote about looking up pictures of baby animals, something proven to biologically make us happier, but it worked just barely and momentarily. And again, this was part of the struggle that solidified my position all the more.
I couldn't even see myself or who I was in order to assess my strengths and strategically find a way out.
I was stuck.
There were exactly three things that helped me forget my pain and my position. Three happy-makers.
1) Giving my love away to the orphans and staff at Orphanage Emmanuel in Honduras.
2) Everything trees. Climbing. Walking in masses of them. Just staring at them.
3) Creating something new.
It had been so long since I created something new. My previous career had just about murdered my creativity, demanding new and outrageous ideas all the time and constantly shooting them down for the sake of tradition or safety.
When, on little more than a whim, I took my hand to a poplar post I bought at Home Depot for three dollars to carve a bear, the darkness consuming my heart cracked and a small chip fell away. This small piece of thoughtless hatred poured on me by previous employers sat there on the ground amongst the wood chips and saw dust for a week or so before eroding away with the snowstorm.
I could begin to see who I was again.
I could see that I had been fighting against an internal war by trying to use peace, when the opposite of war was actually creation.
Woodworking saved my life. Sure, my appendages are now at greater risk, but my heart is happier. My mind has room to breathe. The beauty and uniqueness of each piece, and doing something with my hands, being able to prove I can do something all rescued me from a pit to which I had been absolutely pasted. Woodworks met me at my #3 happy-maker and allowed me to marry all three into one.
I hope you understand how much weight is carried by my expression of gratitude. You are a part of this. Thank you. THANK YOU. Thank you for being a part of my story by supporting my business, my creativity, and my passions. You're the best.
I hope you can love these woodworks and designs for their reclaimed look as I do. Scars tell stories for all of us.