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The “Art” of Tree Cutting

It takes a chainsaw to show us that many tasks not considered “artistic” take imagination.

The sound of a chainsaw drew my attention to a very old, very tall maple in a yard two neighbors away. There was a loud crack and a large branch hanging by an orange strap was lowered to the ground.  A while later a whump and a shaking signaled a piece of trunk hitting the ground.  High up the cutting guy was hidden by the remaining leafy branches. I saw another chainsaw dangling from a second orange strap.

Perhaps cutting trees isn’t considered “artistic,” but the workers used their imaginations just the same.  They had to picture, or think visually, how they were going to do the job. A certain cut there would hopefully cause the branch to drop here, while a strategically placed strap directed the falling branch to miss the nearby homes and yards, wooden fence, and tiny shed, all within a spittin’ distance or two of their job.

By Hustvedt (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Hustvedt (Own work)(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
The tree guys on the ground yelled a lot, but without alarm. They were quite cheery, going about their dangerous craft with confidence, skill, and yes, imagination.

I believe God’s gift of imagination is for all, not just those who have gifts for imagining in the traditional artistic realm. Some use their imaginations to write, paint, or dance, others use them to build motorcycles, plant gardens, or cut down old trees.

I would like to see us acknowledge “imagination” even in pursuits not considered “artistic.” I don’t think that lessens the gifts of artists at all. In fact, we all might become a little more appreciative of imagination wherever we find it, whether in the symphony or in the trees.

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4 thoughts on “The “Art” of Tree Cutting

  1. I know the writings of A.W. Tozer and appreciate the connection you make, Betty. I don’t know that I rise to his level, but we try to emulate how Jesus use the everyday to teach truth.

  2. Amen! Imagination lives in everyone, and creativity. It’s never the exclusive domain of a privileged, oh-so-refined few. Thanks for seeing this work (standing in for all work) with such generous clarity.

  3. In her article “The Art of Tree Cutting” Lora Zill puts me in mind of some of A.W. Tozer’s
    thoughts about the sacred gift of seeing spiritual truths in everyday situations. Her writings
    reflect a “sanctified imagination”. Betty Spence

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