The things that we buy are stuff.
Stuff weighs us down.
It turns into clutter.
We cannot think.
What to do with it,
where does it go?
Does it get oiled or sharpened,
mended or dusted?
File it, shelf it,
or put it in a drawer.
The things we buy
can come too quickly,
a fiver from the pocket,
or even worse, a card.
Quite different from gathering
pine needles from the ground,
soaking them in glycerine
until they soften enough to bend,
scalding them with boiling water
to kill the bugs that might later
eat the basket we have just made.
Different from sitting in a circle
and sharing stories or tips
on where to gather willow,
or find dracena dropped
upon the ground.
Different from holding
the needles in clusters,
tightly against the basket bottom,
called the start – its point of origin –
and stitching them in place.
Different from watching
the thing build itself up and around,
until it somehow knows it’s done.
Different from the maternal pride
you feel each time you cup it
in your hands to show someone
what you have made.
The things we make take time,
and take our life into themselves
as though they breathed
it in from our hands
and tell us back who we are
each time we touch them.