There are two different objects here: the piece of poplar wood and the metal blade. Two separate objects that were brought together in an attempt to make art, to make a change to the state of the wood. A more artist person might have been able to whittle something magnificent out of the poplar but I being who I am was on the task of observation. The smallest thing of just noticing the relationship between the knife and the poplar and seeing the actual process of whittling more than the trying for an outcome.
The piece of wood reminded me a lot of my relationship with my parents. Me, being the poplar wood and my parents the hands behind the blade. It’s not a bad relationship. Most of the time the blade shapes the piece of wood smoothly, softly, simply following the grain and shaping it with ease. Most of the time relationship with parents are fine, but being human sometimes the days are just off and it’s natural for a fight to be the result. Well it’s the same thing with the wood. The more you worked on a section, sometimes the grain will shift, and the blade gets stuck. When it sticks the wood would chip and if you continued on in that direction it could get worse; it seems like there is no solution but in reality the solution is simple, all you have to do was flip the wood around, carve from a different angle. The wood is like the very essence of a teenager, doesn’t want to be shaped or changed and so it resists the blade, its parent, only to find it being shaped anyways.
Now, it was surprising to me, to find that such a simple action, wood carving can really have so much meaning and context if you just pay attention to it. I felt connected to this block of wood, and it really didn’t change into anything magnificent, but in a sense it was mine and I just want to go back and finish it. I am not completely sure if I understand Tolkien’s idea of humans being sub-creators but I think maybe we are. I mean throughout ages humans found a way to express themselves, through cave paintings, Hieroglyphics, telling stories, art, etc. And God essentially formed humans in his image as something beautiful. Now, me I am no artist, I can barely draw on a piece of paper let alone carve out something out of wood, but that thing deep inside of me, that want to create something magnificent; now that is real.