Last summer I’d watch him with his chainsaw, twisting, slicing, carving. Calling a dolphin out of a tree trunk. I never got to watch him long–since I was always in the car on my way to the library or somewhere else “in town.” But when I’d seem him out there, I’d slow down–on this main, busy street–and marvel.
We’d had a bad storm not long before. The storm left basements flooded, power lines downed and slews of tree uprooted, cracked and splintered all over town.
The tree in his front yard must’ve been one of those trees lost. Losing a tree is hard. Not like losing a dog or a family member, of course. But I don’t think you don’t even have to love trees like I do, to gasp over the sight of a century-old (or more!) mighty tree sprawled across a road or, later, being fed into chipper. Hard not to feel your throat catch when you think of all that tree has “seen,” how many children have run around it, how many pinatas have hung from it, how many squirrels have raced up it, how many birds nestled in its arms.
So I suppose that’s why I found what this man was doing so fascinating, so wonderful, actually. Because out of the broken, he carved something beautiful (to him, at least). Out of the tragic, he crafted meaning. Out of the sad, he brought forth delight.
And I think those are two of the other great reasons we create. To bring beauty out of the broken, to give meaning to the tragic, and bring delight from the sad.
Have you ever created for these reasons? Would love to hear how!