My last Christmas package should be delivered today. I must admit there were times, usually about 2 a.m., that I wondered if I was going to make it. There is that anxious moment when I find myself torn between doing my very best work and just getting the work done. I think I avoided the temptation to “just get it done” for the most part. I thought I was prepared, with plenty of stock ready, but after 50 orders, which is a lot for a one man show, I began to secretly wish for the holiday to be over.

Angel plaque

Then I received an email from a customer telling me how I had brought peace and joy to their lives and “filled them with an enlightened view of divine peace.” Now I admit to be susceptible to flattery, but I thought, “Now wait a minute, I am just the guy who puts marks on wood.” It was the words that moved them and their willingness to let themselves be moved that brought peace, not my efforts.

The more I thought about this, the more I thought how ancient and human it is to leave marks. As far back as we can imagine, people have been marking images and words on stone or wood or bone. This means there was always someone like me, who would make the marks, etched or carved, whether by rock or chisel or laser, that would add some permanence to human thought and feeling. Our need to express ourselves and leave a mark to share with others in the hope that they may share our feelings by seeing the marks.Music sheet plaque

I have made many marks this year. Songs and sonnets, limericks and speeches, prayers and promises, hopes and dreams and expressions of loss. Lives being etched upon little pieces of wood to leave a heart. This has always been the case. We see the great monuments. We read the markers and the stele, from the rosetta stone to simple grave markers. Who made these marks? Rarely is that remembered. Does it matter? I think not as long as the marks hold their meaning and mystery and magic.

I imagine that way back in ancient times some Emperor or Pharaoh would approach someone like myself and say “We would like this etched onto stone. Can you do it?” My ancestor answering “Sure, I can do that!” Then the Pharaoh would say “Now, I am going to need this by the end of the week!” My ancient counterpart saying “WHAT??”
And so it goes.

Thanks to everyone for your support. Have a peaceful holiday.