Tuesday, March 1, 2011


A natural edged slab of wood sits atop two metal sawhorses in my home office. The wood is smooth, yet porous, as if it were sealed and coated a bit, but not enough. The exact species of the wood remains unknown, more than likely its redwood from what my online research comparing like images tells me. At nearly eight feet in length, it offers plenty of room for the desktop computer, a few notepads, and of course the ever-growing stack of unpaid bills that entrepreneurs like me wear as a badge of honor till our credit score shocks us into payment.

I imagine the desk would be the showcase of a better looking office, maybe put in the center of the room with a large pendent light hung above to showcase the beauty of the wood, and a fancy dark rug below to flesh out the enormity of it. Unfortunately in my office it’s up against a beige wall, with the only fur on the floor supplied by my dogs looking for a shady place to take a midday slumber.

The desk, as inconspicuous as it is in this office still commands attention. A majestic beauty from nature that needs no upgrade, software patch, or download. Someone cut a big tree down, and somehow sliced it in half. Someone lugged the tree from a forest full of redwoods, to a factory to seal, to a store to sell, and eventually to a builder supply shop where I picked it up. This desk has traveled a mighty long way to be here today, and with the incredible strength of two sawhorses, it provides stability when often stability is hard to come by. This desk is surely a desk I plan on keeping for a lifetime, it’s a lifer.

As luck would have it my computer sits at the far end of the desk, directly next to a window looking out on my front yard. The scene from the window is predictable, three ranch houses of modest size with well kept lawns standby idly across the street. In nearer view is an old tree. The branches of the tree fall directly in front of the window, stretching like tense fingers in awkward poses. The branches are ugly, they look like something one would use to torture another. If the neighbor asks my suggestion for their child’s Halloween costume next year, I’d be apt to suggest pulling those branches down and making a costume out of them, it’d frighten for sure. But these branches belong to a tree comprised of wood, like the wood used to make my desk. The same material I trust to hold my most important documents, offers up an entirely different look just outside my window, not more than four feet away from the desk. When I come across people that insult me, or frighten me, or worse yet, do both, I think of the tree in my front yard, and the desk, and how we’re all not that different inside.

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