I wrote in my last post about objects having souls. This was lazy (as Jonah pointed out over snowy afternoon Guinnesses the other day, and rightly so). This was shorthand. I don’t think you need to have grown up with god to believe in a soul. (I did not grow up with god; I do believe in animating spirits, in our selves, and in the natural world (trees, seas, fields, rivers, hills, peaks, snows, the flowers I bought at Trader Joe’s for $3.99 which are pink and speckled, delicate and tall-stemmed which will last for days and days before the petals fall off.)) But the definition, the immortal aspect, the thing that lasts after the physical part is gone, is not what I meant. That table I made will fall apart some day, it will no longer do its job. It will splinter, rot, maybe get used for firewood, maybe be discarded at the dump, scrap wood, sawdust, dead.
What I meant to say is that some objects are more than their own objectness. The table is made of wood and that wood comes from trees. It’s so obvious, the most obvious thing, but it’s easy to forget. Those wide boards came from a tall tree, roots deep into the dark warm wet earth, branches in the wind, at sway and still. I’m in the table, in that my hands were all over it and thoughts went into it and swears and pleasure. Jon will be in the table, too, his work, the people that gather around it to talk and pass plates. All this energy! There’s a vibration there, when you touch it. It’s not a soul, it’s not immortal. It’s an essence that exists with the energies instilled in the galaxy swirl grains of the tree that died, and the temporary efforts and the temporary use by those of us who will die too.
[Jonah Fontela took the photograph.]