The Interruption

“It’s sure a lot of work. I wouldn’t have

the patience. What’s the time it takes for you

to carve the block you’re working on right now?”

I give the standard answer, “I don’t know.

A couple minutes. Maybe five or ten.

It all depends on what you mean by time.

When things are going well, the gouges sharp,

There isn’t any time. A minute or

An hour or a day. I find it’s all the same.”


The sharpened gouge glides smoothly through the wood

With just the right resistance, and it stops

Where it’s supposed to and the cut is clean

And well defined and right against the line.

There isn’t any thought or wondering

Where should I cut? How should I hold the gouge?

I’m just observing, following along;

Amazed the gouge is going where I want

It to. It could be held by anyone.

A leaf appears, and soon a flower blooms,

And as I watch, the carving is complete.

There isn’t any work. I just observe

The carving as it happens—second hand.


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