Reason and Passion

 "Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgement wage war against your passion and your appetite. Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody. But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements.

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and sails of your seafaring soul. If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas. For reason ruling alone is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.

Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing. And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes."

- Kahlil Gibran from "The Prophet"

As you can see, I've been doing some reading and thinking lately, a lot of that. It's been several years since I picked my copy of "The Prophet" off the bookshelf. Its a book of powerful poetry, masterfully written to speak to you throughout your life. Sections I found powerful years ago are not the same as the ones that strike me as I read it today. If you have never read it I feel you should. my advice is do not read it cover to cover, it is not that kind of book. read the first chapter and then let the table of contents guide you to read the sections that catch your eye. It has become my "go to gift" for a graduation present.

I know this is a woodworking blog and not a literary blog. But when I read any book I read through the eyes of a dedicated woodworker. As far as the above quote is concerned, I would argue that there is no where in the whole world where I can find the balance between Reason and Passion better than in my shop. Standing at the workbench is my "peacemaker." 

And if that isn't woodworking, then nothing is.

Ratione et Passionis


  1. I have never read 'The Prophet', but I have certainly heard of that fine tome. Your post has made me decide to add it to my 'To Buy' list.

    A little poetry is a good thing for a woodworking blog, from time to time.

    I very much enjoyed it.

  2. Hey man, First time to your site. I like the picture of your bench & shop. Having moved and build a new house and thus setting up a new shop I have learned it can take a long time to get a shop set up after a move. I've done a number of projects since moving into our new home, but my shop is no where near organized I as I had previously. Life's demands makes our desires difficult at times.. So i envy you. Take care. Darrell


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