Monday, October 31, 2011
Identity, Our Tool is Us
Today I cranked up my Bearcat Shredder and munched and ground my pile of pruned twigs and branches to pulp. I am old and feeble and have Rheumatoid Arthritis but with my tool as an extension of me, I am mighty! I am Marlboro Man at work, employing a machine in a rugged activity that my forefathers, at my age, could have only dreamt about. I eventually ran out of gas at the same time as the Bearcat, so both of us called it a day! We all have tools that can be an extension of our arm or leg or brain or senses that make us explorers, visionaries, artists and rugged adventurers! Whoever said,"It's not important what you do, but who you are" was not telling the whole story. We are creatures of our tools. In the olden days my father would watch my mother cut slices from the bread loaf in which she pressure forced the knife down onto the loaf, rather than deftly sawing with light downward force. Her bread slices ended up about an inch high. He would look at us and say, "Let the tool do the work." Good advice! When the first primate, or the first crow, used the first tool to do a job that they had originally used a arm or beak to do, they began the process of advancing to a new identity that separated one from another. The artistry displayed by the operator of the excavator is astounding, who, with foot and hand can practically pick up his cigarette packet with his bucket, or lift a one ton rock. The machine has become part of the body. With time and skill the tool incorporates into the organism so there is no space in between the two. There is an area on the gyrus for the tool! Whether the golf club, the hockey stick, the brush, the egg whisk, the ivory keys, the strings, the cup or the scalpel; when you have arrived at that golden moment where you are one with your tool, you will no longer see yourself apart from it!