Monday, January 26, 2009

Can'ts hold no fruit.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion..."
Genesis 1:28
My friend leighcia has written about the joys of knitting, of the process "From one dimensional string to two dimensional fabric to three dimensional garment." In one post, she writes:
Being a financial analyst by occupation and a writer/reader at heart, I usually work with the substances that cannot be touched. Abstract numbers, thoughts and ideas, shuttling back and forth from computer screen to paper to words...Sometimes, it's just so refreshing to just be able to hold something in my hands and not feel obliged to say anything at all.
As a student and now as a teacher, I have felt a similar longing, as I articulated in a comment on another of her posts:
You make pretty things. I wish I make pretty things one day too. Not sewing things. Other things.
What kind of "other things?" In another comment, her husband Matthew (who builds amps and bikes) hit the nail on the head:
Yes. Something masculine.

What do I already create?
  • As a teacher I primarily seek an impact on the hearts, minds, and souls of my students. Very real, yes; tangible, no.

  • Along the way I churn out copious amounts of worksheets, Powerpoint lectures, and grades. Tangible? Sort of. The real creation exists in zeroes and ones on my hard drive.

  • Today I made Scantron answer keys for my midterm exams. They possess a certain beauty in that they are codified truth, a standard to which my students' imitations will be compared. But, while I can hold them in my hand, they are hardly tangible. They must be fed through a dot machine in order for their worth to be made manifest.
So what am I left with? Well, I like to cook.

I'd like something more.


Jonathan said...

I think that one way in which I differ from most people is that intangible things seem quite real to me.

I'd much rather produce intangible meaningful things than tangible things with less meaning.

Nicholas said...

I think that actually makes you like most people. We know that ideas change millions of lives. A pair of socks seems hardly worth the time put into it.

It's radical to say that those socks, or Matt's amps, or Mark Potter's spoons, are pursuits just as worthy as solving the world's problems.

Jonathan said...

I make modl.

l e i g h c i a said...

Cooking ain't a bad start :)
It's VERY tangible, but rather fleeting in its enjoyment.