Cutting cedars is a lot like writing, but it doesn’t replace writing, and I’ve never gone out until I’ve done my daily. Standing, searching, bending, cutting, standing: it’s repetitive work but has its art, too. You have to jam the clipper mouth around the tree stem below the dirt so the stump can’t find the light and send up sprouts, but not so low that you grab a rock and chip the blade. Always in the back of your mind you have to know the line you’re walking and working, more to guard yourself than for cedar-cutting efficiency, because the bigger trees would rather beckon you into the thick stands, where they grow fourteen, twenty feet high, and deep in their midst, where no sun ever reaches, the dry branches will first blind then skewer you, and there you’ll wither and twist out of sight of the sky. Jerky gifts for coyotes.
And with that I’m also a contributing writer at Design Observer, where I’ve been happily writing sporadically for a few years. (An archive is here.)