2.20.18 – Oaken
I was sharpening sticks so long they stopped having the weight of spears and started to become just pieces of their finished forms. The days where I was running rough paper over those edges to make accurate points started to wear away at me and I only had shape and color to translate the object in my hand into a dialogue. I remember my tongue feeling the same way after it had been burned, when you could still find a balance on pressure and persistence but nothing resembling taste would accumulate there. These old weapons were bound in just one direction and they were beginning to look like bundles of kindling, better to be broken for ash than blood.
I wasn’t always sitting in the workshop rounding off corners to make meaner ones but the time spent there started to warp my perception of those deadly things. They stopped being missiles a long while ago and started to just be carvings. Maybe these hands had made softer objects like whistles and charms at first but had slowly crept their way into a lucrative alley that offered only tools of opening as the output. I can remember when whittling was simply me taking my time with the unmade and removing its layers to bring about a different life; wood gave way to stone, stone to metal, and metal to greed.
The shavings were curling on the floor making sinister smiles that had escaped the fate of threatening others. They shined up at me every time I looked beyond my hands and at the torn petals that littered about me feet. I wondered if others saw casings here instead and thought of each one as a potential to steal a carving still in progress. The hands would keep working because they had to, even in spite of the head that feared their movement. They covered the crimes by forgetting the results and saw only the shape and service in itself; on they carved, one sharp stick at a time.