Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Meaningful Production

It's been quite a spring and early summer. Matters that were put in motion over three months ago have yet to see resolution. It's work related. I won't go into it. I will simply say the actions and decisions of those entrusted with power are far too often detached from a balanced view and are never devoid of personal bias. Objectivity is a museum piece, locked away in an opaque box. The shell of the word lives on to be thrown around freely in a token gesture of authenticity.

I like to shift focus to other means of production -- industry of the cottage variety, if you will -- the real business that should matter most but is frequently usurped by the need to achieve and consume and "better one's situation." The reality of two young humans in our home, growing and learning and developing leaps and bounds every day humbles me when I truly stop to consider it. It puts to shame all the professional development initiatives and training sessions. It translates dictionaries of corporate speak into sheer gibberish.

A couple of months ago we built Sylvia her own workbench. She no longer has to balance precariously atop a stool to use the big bench. Like most things, I overbuilt it. But considering Willa has already begun to pound on it too, this bench will see at least 10 years worth of nail holes and glue spills. Sylvia has already grown to appreciate the front vise.

Productivity of the meaningful variety takes on many forms. This was the first family paddle where Sylvia tried to contribute to moving the canoe along. Mostly we all appreciated the blooming lotus flowers and families of ducks moving quickly by for safety.

The subtle curves of a canoe's bilge are naturally suited to children. If I were able to sit on the bottom of the boat and comfortably settle into the rocking motion while others did all the work I think I'd be happy as a clam. By the time we got back to the car, both kids had been lulled to sleep.

One vastly underrated means of production is flying a kite. This we attempted to do one Sunday not long ago. It transformed into a patient study of the wind which would lightly gust for 30 seconds then die again. Sylvia didn't mind. She'd let out 6 feet of string and run all the way across the field and back. Willa gave it a try, too, with limited success and many technical difficulties.

Kiting is hugely satisfying. I've taken to occasionally carrying my small parafoil with me to and from work. A couple of evening stop-offs to test the wind, sit in the grass and watch the daylight wane have been just the ticket for countering the trappings of conventional industry.

Untangling knotted kite string is pleasant when juxtaposed with fixing problems created by others or attempting to right some larger issue that, in reality, truly doesn't matter to one's overall well being. As the breeze picks up and the string uncoils I'm reminded of my cue to simply breathe out and release matters into the blue.


Pete said...

Great post. I think my blood pressure went down 5 points while reading it.

Noren said...

No shit on the first. The las t paragraph, you know your kids are teasing the angels, right?