Saturday, July 4

Friday, June 30

In Columbia, South America- a canoe stored close by the house. To keep it dry? Carved from a big log, looking a little like some sort of river creature itself. I’m thinking that what looks like a pillow on top of it might be a pillow, something you could put on your head when you hoist this thing up there to carry it over to the water. But I don’t know.
What I do know is that when you live somewhere, and you have to work at something in order to eat, you like to keep your tools close at hand. Walk out the door, hey, here’s your rake, and that’s good because you’re gonna spend hours using it to move the rocks off your field today. Or grab a ladder, because you’ll be getting up in the trees for fruit. In Columbia, there’s lots of different kinds of wood to make tools from. In China, in the mountains, it’s slim pickings.
But notice something. In this village in China where a straight piece of wood is unheard of, there’s a roof beam with squared sides. From a sawmill? It’s a heavy roof, a tile roof. Maybe they get a lot of snow there in winter? They invested a lot in that roof. Where do they keep the shovels?
In Red Hill Pennsylvania, the wealthy farmers have actual doors on their houses. Shutters on their windows. That broom was made in a factory somewhere, probably in America. There’s window glass. And this fellow might even have enough extra to treat his little family to a trip to see the World’s Fair, where they can gawk at the new tools they need to have and at the scientific wonders that make these things possible. And come back home with a letter opener.
The photos are kept right at hand here.

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