Freitag, 13. Februar 2015

Into the twilight again

 After working in a job I can less and less relate to, I had to get out of the insanity that befouls our world. So off with me to the bus and into something that is different. It is a kind of therapy for me, if you so will, but somehow the term does not fit. For therapy is undergone to be able to fit in again. I have never fitted anywhere but into the woods. Personally I have long thought I was a wee bit off my rocker, and having had a fit of psychological studies myself once;-), I was even capable of clearly naming the exact manner in which I was off my rocker. You know, parental neurosis and such blahblah. And I guess I have always done my best to be a good lad and smugly fit into this world. I have always reflected my shortcomings and have earnestly tried to change myself.

Now I listen to the radio, and read the newspaper, and look around in the internet for news. I take the bus and the train and refuse to drug myself with an MP3-player so that I do not have to hear the ruckus everywhere. Time has been when I even tried to look people into the eyes. I do not do this anymore, for it can hurt either physically or psychologically.

Everywhere I look there is either blunt resignation or a hysterical frenzy to be someone and get somewhere, anywhere, anyhow. Everywhere there are those cyborg zombies not capable of communication other than blunt statements with no emotional or even semantical value or coherence to the statement before at all.

There is a worldwide conflict, that, given its roots lie in the distant past and it still has not changed, will presumeably never end until mankind is extinguished. There are ecological catastrophes just over the doorstep. Media hype and marketing sells fear and death, and we are told we can free ourselves only by being a good lad and buying this or that. Fear to not belong? Buy a smartphone and sign in to facebook or what´s app. Those tools are not in any way evil or anything, but dangerously abused by social control mechanisms. I lost nearly my entire circle of friends that I believed were real - life friends by this, so forgive me if I am a bit grumpy with these otherwise great ways of communication;-). 

Fear of death or sickness? Buy this insurance or that. (70% of all citizens in Germany are overinsured).

Fear of death, however, is the ultimate fear. If we all are honest, it also leads to us oh so critical bushcrafters and preppers and survivalists buying the latest Bear Grylls paraphernalia. Of course, I am no saint in that either, and I also live in fear of death, and I buy a lot of stuff just for the sake of buying it to soothe myself or reward myself or whatnot. But if I think thoroughly about it, why should I be a good lad? Why should I be ashamed of what I am? I have never been, but being mobbed out of any social context I was part of makes you think a bit about your own shortcomings, if you so will;-). But here it was that my learning process started. In that I have to be grateful for what my enemies did for me; for they have started it. And if they wanted to get the better end of me, they have thoroughly failed, again and again. And if I once feared to not belong, I realized that it´s not that bad. I started anew, and that was all about it. Fear of death, however, is a different matter. What helps me most is the thought that I cannot help it anyway. We all have to die, as do the animals and plants. And from the rot and the decay new flowers will blossom and new saplings will stem.

Now this seems to be part of an altogether different world, doesn´t it? A world where there are laws and commandments where you can blame yourself if you don´t follow, for those laws are natural. And you are not a "good lad" if you follow them, but dead when you don´t follow them. A cruel world, too, where this oh so cute rabbit is torn down by the fox, and the graceful fox is left to rot when he dies of hunger. A world where the strong survive. Oh, is that so? The strong will survive?

Once I had a conversation with my boss, right after she offered me informal terms. She stated she believed in the law of "might makes right", and that the strong survive in our society. I had a laughing fit, for she is slightly overweight, and can just so lift her handbag without help. Now I do not want to brag, but I walk a good 50 km, run barefoot through barren forest land, even in winter, ride my bike a good 100 km with a smile, lift a 65kg anvil with not so much of building up a sweat and split a 1x4 pine board with my fist. Her qualification equals that of an average, well educated clerk, while I studied philosophy, comparative mythology, English, German, Medieval German, Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, Hitthite and Old Celtic and Slawic literature and history, prehistoric history, archaeology, runeology, psychology, attended lectures in arts and crafts, medicine, quantum physics, am a blacksmith, carpenter, coppersmith, artist, writer of songs, poems and fantasy mythologies, herbologist, martial artist and know a thing or two about real life. As I said, this is not to be intended as bragging, and I am not good in all of this, but I guess the point is made. I am stronger, have more knowledge and am more virile, but I am ruled by someone who is not. I have no intention of claiming my right by might, for I am not an advocate of "ad baculum". In my opinion it is a privilege of the strong to protect. Culture should be made that way, but it´s not, of course. But a bit of humility would suit even a tyrant, even if it´s just out of egoistic motivation. For no one has mercy with a fox who has eaten a rabbit just beforehand. In contrast to a boss, however, the fox will not whine about it if it comes to the worst. A human will wail and complain about things he or she cannot change.

But that´s the way of things, and it does not bother me that much. That milk has long been spilled. What bothers me, though, is that we are lied at that we live in a culture of mercy. This was the case, just some 13 years ago, when we still could be proud of our society, where the so - called strong did not yet prey on the weak.

But, to be honest, it does not bother me that much. I can live up to the standards of nature still. Time will come when I will get weak and old, and then I will die, but where´s the harm? We all have to, the hare as well as the fox, tree and flower and the buzzard as well as the dove. I fear death, and I must be honest that I fear life also. But this world is dying. Those in charge removed the ethics to leave a pseudo-natural state of constant war. If the effect of this cumulates any more, then only the strong and virile will survive. I AM strong and virile still. And, most important, I do not fear nature, I respect it. The woods is where I belong, and where I know most every law and commandment, and I like to think that I am welcome for that. And the woods are not gentle or nice or peaceful. They are cruel, and inhumane, and there´s no justice there-but they are just what they are, and they do not lie or whine.

There is this very special oak tree I pass by every time I walk this way. The oak is the guardian of the threshold, and I leave my whining and my fear there to be entirely what I am.

 And then the road goes on. A lot of memories lie there, embedded in the gravel. Often have I hiked this trail, often ridden it by bike, I walked it with combat boots on, all blistered, I felt it with my bare feet. I left my blood there when I took a mouthful dirt, I felt the sun and the rain and the snow and the warm earth.
 Snow-jewels were glistening their twinkling song into the bright day, and the bright blue sky was full with birdsong.
 And so the ground and the sky blended into each other, and over old hills and far away I walked, way farther than my feet.
 In the woods there was a new home of what I assume is a rabbit.
 Under the dark and twilit treetops gently swaying in the breeze I took a deep and soothing breath. Sika deer were passing in the distance, and I saw a hare flee my steps, and just for the fun of the chase, I followed at a run.
 Hare droppings...
 And fox droppings... what story does the fact tell that these were just a metre apart?
 Then I began to walk slower, for I still have problems with my blood circulation.
 Ever deeper I went into the mood of twilight, ever deeper I ventured into another world, a world where there is just breathing and being and light.

And so I walked smilingly, silently, stealthily, along the song of the murmuring creek, laughing with joy because of the smelting snow´s waters that had poured their essence into it; to sink, to rise, to laugh the spring into a winterday´s thought.

 Golden and ochre, and sun on the rise; behold that the night is fading!

 And twilight and darkness play their shadowy jests...
 And then I came to my favourite place and had some rest...
..and now for something completely different...;-P
 I do not want to hide this new knife from you; I got it on the Jagd und Hund expo from a Pakistan knifemaker, Maqson knives. It´s made from Damascus out of 1095 and 15 N20. Mrs. Maqbool, who spoke excellent German (in fact she IS a German with a Pakistani background), even informed me about the fact that Damascus is not always taking a homogenous hardness like monosteel without me actually asking. This was very professional, and certainly endeared me to the corporation. The knife came out of the box razor-sharp. It has a high hollow grind with a flat secondary edge bevel. The scales out of beautiful walnut needed some reworking, for they were a bit loose. I attribute this to the change of climate. I fixed them with a bit of epoxy and a ball peen.

The pattern is showing excellently, no welding flaws are visible.

 Etching a part of the spine showed a continuous pattern. It is not a fake or a mild steel handle welded on, but one - piece Damascus.

 While having a sip of tea, I made some fuzz sticks with it, which worked like a cinch, nice and curly locks with no tearing. Whittling soft and hard wood did not alter the sharpness in any way...

 The sheath is made from relatively soft, but supportive leather. The knife is held in quite well, even upside down and will presumeably be kept in even if the sheath softens up a bit with time.

The loop makes for a high carry position I do not like so much, and the sewing is nothing to brag about, but I have seen far worse! I paid more for it  than for a typical Pakistani knife, but the quality is well there, and hey, craftsmanship comes at a price!
I will do some more testing soon.

 A long time I sat by the creek, listening to its glistening, silent song... and forgot about the tidings of the world of make-believe. To be honest, I also forgot about knives and tea and about myself. I came to my senses just then; breathing, breathing in the winterday´s air. And the cold came creeping up my legs and spine, bearing no relevance for what I had become.

And up I got, finally, as the sun was sinking behind the ancient hills... and in my heart there is a winter. And there is twilight, mist and stars. And there is spring in the laughing creeks that sing:
Summer cometh!;-D

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