MAD, SAD OR BAD
I grew up around the generation of men who had returned from fighting in the Second World War. This was not a group of people who shared their feelings readily. In fact, in my mind to be a man meant to be emotionally subdued – at least on the surface.
It was only as my experience of people expanded that I met men who shared their feelings more freely. My first impression of them, however, was that they were not as masculine – somehow weaker. My craft proved to be my way out of this barren landscape.
As a craftperson, I gained a social and identifying foothold from which I could climb higher and gain perspective for my life’s journey. I began to understand that coming out of the Depression and fighting in a mechanized war meant that you had to set aside certain approaches in order to survive. Mad, sad or bad were only ways to die. Once you succumbed to one of these feelings, you were on the way to death – and not a very nice or gallant one.
Salvation meant doing your job. You still might die here, but you were unsure what the outcome would be. Abandoning your job meant throwing your life and dignity away.
As I navigate my life and craft, I am looking for my job, my life-giving and identifying task. It has brought me a contact with many good people and made me friends. It has helped to plumb my own depths and potential. At the cusp of the new year what form will this job take throughout the time before me? All I ask is for the focus and strength to find it.