“Forgotten? No, we never do forget:
We let the years go; wash them clean with tears,
Leave them to bleach out in the open day,
Or lock them careful by, like dead friends' clothes,
Till we shall dare unfold them without pain,—
But we forget not, never can forget.”
"It is in the workshop and at the bench that an insight into the soul of wood craftsmanship can be truly gained. There are tools, there is the wood – rude planks, ungarnished, their surface scored with the saw. Between them, and without which each is useless, must come the soul and spirit of the designer and craftsman; the deft hands prompted by an alert mind; the knowledge attained only through years of study and service; the creative instinct and ability that will, by the correct use of the tools, transform the mere plank into a thing of usefulness and beauty – possibly a joy for ever… It was at the lathe, when a youth, that I first realised the charm of line, the contour that flows continuously on, diminishing and enlarging, though separated by ornamental members… Those who have studied woodcraft for half a century find themselves still learning and quite unable to pack all their knowledge into a nutshell for the convenience of a beginner. The training is not that of the university; it is, however, quite as exacting in its own way and so merits equal recognition and respect, and it is encouraging to note that this idea is slowly gaining ground. The woodworkers of a century ago added to their carpentry the dignity of craft; this is why the examples of their handiwork that remain are treasured. Let it not be assumed that it is merely because such work is old that it is appreciated so highly. Even a slight study will reveal the artist mind that prompted the hands, the perception that had grasped the principles of design, the certain knowledge in its decisive finish. There is the secret of its permanent inspiration, its power to soothe and charm."
"Our processes are precious but also fragile, vulnerable and risky. They take time, they can cause discomfort, and they can frustrate us. We sometimes make decisions without fully knowing where they will take us. Sometimes we get things wrong, and we must be willing to learn from our mistakes. Our struggles with discernment may not easily be resolved, but these very struggles can bring us blessings. We need not be afraid of confronting issues where the way forward is not clear or where Friends are not in unity. We trust in that Spirit which guides us into all Truth. Thomas Kelly describes this trust as 'walking with a smile into the dark'. " Epistle from Britain Yearly Meeting Gathering 2013
"The amount of solitude which is attainable or would be wholesome in the case of any individual life is a matter which each of us must judge for himself.…A due proportion of solitude is one of the most important conditions of mental health. Therefore if it be our lot to stand apart from those close natural ties by which life is for most people shaped and filled, let us not be in haste to fill the gap; let us not carelessly or rashly throw away the opportunity of entering into that deeper and more continual acquaintance with the unseen and eternal things which is the natural and great compensation for the loss of easier joys. The loneliness which we rightly dread is not the absence of human faces and voices — it is the absence of love…Our wisdom therefore must lie in learning not to shrink from anything that may lie in store for us, but so to grasp the master key of life as to be able to turn everything to good and fruitful account."
“Today the sight that discourages book people most is to walk into a public library and see computers where books used to be. In many cases not even the librarians want books to be there. What consumers want now is information, and information increasingly comes from computers. That is a preference I can’t grasp, much less share, though I’m well aware that computers have many valid uses. They save lives, and they make research in most cases a thing that’s almost instantaneous.They do many good things, but they don’t really do what books do, and why should they usurp the chief function of a public library, which is to provide readers access to books? Books can accommodate the proximity of computers but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Computers now literally drive out books from the place that should, by definition, be books’ own home: the library.”
"I don't see beauty in expensive goods. I see beauty in woodwork. Woodwork to me is building barns and putting up anything in the old fashioned way....why I see beauty in these old timbers, all these old boards. I see beauty in each part of the barn here. I see beauty in the hay crop here and I even see beauty in the way the bales are stacked...I regret some of the beauties you don't see any more , like sheaves of wheat and straw stacked in front of the barn... every hour of the day there's beauty to think about being close to nature on the family farm."
~ Old Order Mennonite farmer quoted by John L Ruth.