Knifemaking: presence, vulnerability, and the Forester

“Take the time to know
How alone you are in this world
Just to find
Death is on your mind
As you stand still, you realize where you are
In her world
Aged and bright
My moon after the tide”

Craft Spells- Komorebi

(you can read about the initial inspiration for the Forester here)

I love the forest.  I’m fortunate to live in a larger city that is in close proximity to the woods.  I have good friends who live on farms in rural wooded areas.  I occasionally house-sit for one of my good friends who lives out in the sticks and I will tell you that as a city person there isn’t anything much better than being able to wake up to a place like this:

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I think what makes the forest such a special place these days is that it gently brings you into the moment.  Not all at once, and not all of the time.  Sometimes I go into the woods and all I can think about is how I am going to get my health insurance paid or why I didn’t wash my dishes before I came.  Both of these are valid concerns and also a prime example of not being with yourself, or being present- how am I supposed to experience the here and now when I am consumed with shit that will be dealt with later?  It’s a thing: once you start noticing that you aren’t being present with yourself you can start to work on it.

When the presence does happen it’s quite wonderful.  It’s as if you can see what you are doing and where you are going without any judgement.  I try to capture those moments.  There’s a vulnerability in the forest because you are so open.  Everything is.  And it’s empowering and humbling.  There is no posturing and no bravado.  You can feel your place in things and it feels so safe.  At least for me.  These are the places where you can really feel your being: There’s a word in Japanese called komorebi.  Literally translated it means “sunshine filtering through the trees”.  This page explains komorebi a bit better than my understanding of the depth of it permits me.  What I do know is that it conveys a sense of wonder at something that would be there whether we are present to observe it or not.  It just is.  I dig that.

The seasons of the woods: summer…
IMG_1849 And autumn when the leaves fall:IMG_1591And winter:IMG_1615And spring: IMG_1788

This is where the Forester comes in.  Something that that looks like it just stepped out of the woods, without pretension or affectation.  Something to help you be present with yourself and to find the power and connectedness in being vulnerable.


I found a green cutting board that I thought would be interesting to work with.  I liked the idea of being able to take something green with me when I couldn’t get to the woods.

…and I hated it.  I though it was ugly and it wouldn’t sand up or polish the way I wanted it to.  So I cut it off and put an oak handle on instead.

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She is made with O1 tool steel, white Oak handle scales, and brass hardware.  She was bought by one of my good friend’s father, who is a bit of a Forester himself.

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May wherever you are be where you are supposed to be.  This is the lesson of the Forester.

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