Impetus

Hi all! Long time no post, can’t believe how fast the holidays whiz by these days… I’ve been getting requests for updates on my health lately so it’s time to get back to it.

Earlier this month I took my 3rd annual skiing trip to Denver with my good friend Ken and a few other partners in crime… even with my best efforts to maximize my health – I moved a chemo infusion appointment out a bit so I could heal longer without a new round of side effects getting in the way – I still was struggling with getting enough oxygen from the thin air up there. Never got over it, was huffing and puffing every day.  I’m not certain I can make it back there for skiing next year, I’ll have to see how things look in about 9 months.

Before I was diagnosed in September 2015, I spent that summer kind of in a funk… I wasn’t making any art but and was struggling to find new avenues to interest me. I took up ceramics for a bit, screen printing, even some leatherwork. The lack of intensity I was experiencing with what should have been perfectly good avenues of creativity left me very frustrated and blue. Then came the cancer.

Since then, I’ve been stuck in healing/fighting-for-my-life mode and hoping there would come a time where I could feel the same obsession about something. The last time I went thru this was when I started homebrewing 14 years ago. I would lose sleep mentally going over all the details for making my own 10-gallon all-grain brewing system. Eventually I got all the resources together and enjoyed putting everything together almost as much as drinking the final product that came out of the beer tap. It was an altogether satisfying experience and I felt very proud to have created a brewing system – from crushing grains to converting a chest freezer to a refrigerated beer cooler – that is still functional.

Luckily for me, I happen to have been inspired by 2 completely different realms of creativity lately that I’ve been equally obsessive about, and that has given me new hope for my future mindset.

Christine and I have been watching the Great British Baking Show on Netflix lately and I started thinking about trying to start a batch of sourdough starter (again) to see whether I could be patient with it enough to crank out some homemade bread, in order to offset the amount of nasty GMO-filled store-bought bread in the house. I did research, went over the type of tasty baked goods I could make in my head at night, and the result is I have a nicely-functioning starter I’ve been cultivating for about 6 weeks now.

But that wasn’t it, apparently. On a visit to my brother-in-law’s auto/motorcycle workshop I noticed a stack of discarded iron leaf springs and suddenly had an urge to do something with all that metal. I’ve been watching people make some pretty decent chef’s knives out of old scrap metal using blacksmithing techniques – using anvils, quenching the metal, sanding and filing, making wooden handles, that sort of stuff.

And the light, the obsessive creative ball of energy I’ve been missing for 14 years came back. In my creative environment, I now have purpose again. I’ve spent plenty of nights awake mentally putting the components together and imagining what it will be like to begin the process. I’ve built my foundry already, I’ve created a stand for my anvil, all I have to do now is heat-test my foundry one more time and then I’m going to be hitting hot metal with my trusty hammer.

These events have given me and my mind something to get out of bed for, with more energy, more joy. I don’t know how many damned corners there are to this journey but I think I just turned another one. A great big one that took 14 years to get around. it is the impetus to the next phase of healing and I have the perfect song that plays in my head (very loud) now every time I think of blacksmithing…. which is quite a lot lately. Video below.

I love you all. Knives for everyone!

Justification, the means are the end
Doctrine and dogma, I will not relent
This world a garden in need of such weeding
This world a minefield in need of such sweeping
Impetus
This ministration without full consent
Fire and brimstone, I will not relent
Just as all good things must come to an end
I will administer as I see fit
I will not relent
I will not relent
I will not relent
I am driven
Impetus
I am driven