Wednesday, May 22, 2013


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Back aches. Thighs burn. Sweat drips down my jawline. The sledgehammer in my hands rises and falls in a slow rhythm, pounding a wooden stake into the earth. As the hammer rises, the muscles in my back contract from lumbar spine to shoulder blade. I uncoil and let the tool fly, watching it drop earthward with all the urgency of gravity unchecked. My forearms shudder with the force of each blow: potential converted to kinetic energy, and back again.

There is a meditative quality to this. As I lift and drop the hammer, my eyes fix on the boots protecting my wide-planted feet. I take in their well-worn leather, and trace up the tall white socks wrapping my sturdy, hairy calves. How long has it been since I've shaved? Three weeks, maybe longer? "Gosh, you're a delicate flower" I chuckle to myself, and hurl the hammer once more.

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