While at our workplace we have been receiving retail stock delivered to us on wood pallets; it hit me that this wood is actually good wood. I thought; Why not take a go at recycling it and give it a new life? It started off with a roof table, then a box, benches and other projects which are coming along together slowly.
During a chat with a close friend, it came up that wood is also one of 5 elements in the Chinese Cycle. Upon a little research, I came across Wu-Xing; the 5 elements in the Chinese Cycle. Different from the one used in Western Astrology (Air, Water, Earth and Fire)
(Read more about Wuxing)
Wood as an Element:
The wood element, is the first phase of WuXing and the most yang of all elements. It stands for springtime, the east, the planet Jupiter, the colour green (and also blue), and windy weather.
In the Chinese Zodiac it is associated to the Rabbit and Tiger.
In Chinese philosophy, wood sometimes translated as Tree, it is the growing of matter.
Wood attributes are considered to be strength and flexibility in Chinese Taoism.
It is also associated with qualities of warmth, generosity, co-operation and idealism. The Wood person will be expansive, outgoing and socially conscious.
The wood element is one that seeks ways to grow and expand. Wood heralds the beginning of life, springtime and buds, sensuality and fertility.
In Chinese medicine, wood is associated with negative feelings of anger, positive feelings of optimism, patience, and altruism.
Organs associated with this element are the liver (yin), gall bladder (yang), eyes, and tendons.
Working with wood creates experiences that are often surreal. The sounds, sight and feel of wood is something taken for granted until ... you work on it.
It was very natural to learn about patience, calmness and focus. With Patience being the Key in wood craftsmanship. If you are ruled by the fast paced life this will surely teach you about being slow and patient. To build something out of raw wood you need time, and while the project is coming together you are put in a position to enjoy the process. Whilst the product of a project is forming you witness birth itself. It is art. It is creation.
Together this reality and surreal qualities bond to become one. The object embodies a soul and in return you are loaded with Energy.
At some point working all power tool free is also a not-doing that can teach you to use your own strength to connect with the life and knowledge of the wood itself.