Friday, August 29, 2008


There’s the growl of a chainsaw off in the distance this morning. Could be a menacing sound, or the sound of something important getting done, depending on the context, depending on perspective, depending on the way it’s framed. Could be an insensitive idiot recklessly devouring this beautiful land, but it could be someone cutting firewood to keep his family warm for the impending winter. Could be someone cutting down an old-growth redwood, but it could be a man with a plan clearing dead wood to enable new growth. Could be a developer clear-cutting land to build another strip-mall, but it could be somebody tearing down an old shack on the back 40 that had become a rat-trap and a fire hazard. Could be PG&E, or Comcast, cutting down trees for installation of another power cable, or the State building yet another road. But it could be someone clearing an overgrown deer trail to help insure safe passage for the wildlife through an increasingly populated part of this rural environment. Could be someone carving a totem pole out of a big old log in the back yard. Could be someone recording the sound of a chainsaw for a film, or for some other creative project.

I know people who view chainsaws only as weapons of destruction.
They are incapable of seeing them as tools.

The same way they tend to regard our military.
I do not share their myopic views.