One of our neighbors keeps enough firewood to heat an entire village, I swear. He lives in a darling moss-covered, tiny gabled house fit for a gnome which is situated on a wooded, half block with a statuette of Michelangelo’s David, dwarfed by towering cedars. This calls to mind Grandpa reported last week he finally got enough wood to last the entire winter and then some, he gets it from the forest on the other side of the field. Fells and chops everything by himself. Hauls it back up with the four-wheeler, probably a million trips. When I was a boy he’d give me just enough time to swing the axe to make myself useful (and deadly) but mostly he split everything and I handed it to him through the basement window. He has always been a powerful man yet wields the axe so effortlessly it seems connected to supernatural guy-wires. Oliver Fern and I were walking home from piano last week, that’s when I captured this. Reminded me of home. Just Queen Anne’s lace and rusty barbed wire for the picket fence.

October 2019 - Piano Night 892

3 thoughts on “cordwood

  1. Interesting the associations and memories we have. I recall years ago posting a photograph of rusting barbed wire in an artists’ group I was in, and reminiscing about time spent on my grandfather’s farm when I was young, which was what barbed wire always reminds me of. Another member was quite upset at the image and explained that she and her parents’ generation had particularly disturbing associations from WWII, being of German Jewish descent. There could almost have not been two more different reactions to a piece of wire.

    • I’m sorry to hear how upset this other member was at the image you’d shared, Dan. That must have been a terribly difficult position to be in, to have unwittingly triggered stress or trauma from such a nightmare lived experience. It’s not hard to imagine the plausabilities and blind spots with a scenario like this. Your remark dovetailed with reading I’d done the previous evening about the unprecedented countrywide epidemic of post traumatic stress for Iraqi peoples owing to those cruel, wicked events sustained over several decades upon the country (which regretfully my own country has played a deciding, damning role). The manifestation of psychological and emotional trauma is hard to comprehend for those of us like myself who have lived their lives very insulated from the physical reality of war and genocide. I do appreciate your note. Another time it’d be wonderful to learn more about those reminisces from time spent on your grandfather’s farm! Hope this finds you doing well.

  2. I’ve always been amazed at videos of guys easily splitting wood, one chop with a light axe causing chunks to fly – no sweat. For me it’s usually a splitting maul, a whopping great huck of wood with knots in it, and multiple whacks deforming the results into odd sized remnants.

    But then life in the movies often shows only the ideal…

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