Lockdown Lemonade #41 by Lee Penn Sky

The Evening Spoon Report

So, what did I do to feel better during the Pandemic other than baking and eating literally hundreds of pounds of bread? Spoon carving. What?! Yes, my friends. Hand carving wooden spoons.

It was a hobby I had picked up somewhere along the way. I start with a log which I chop to the general shape of a spoon with a carving axe then, using extremely sharp knives, carve to its final shape. Here’s the thing, it is hard to focus on your angst, fear, and worry when, if you slip, you are likely to end up at the emergency department minus a finger. It allowed me to do something physical that forced me to clear my head and be creative. Each day I would set off to create something that, at least I thought, was beautiful and I was able to complete within a few hours. That’s not the end of it though. In fact, really it was just the beginning. I decided to start sharing the spoons on Facebook along with little posts about them. It became “The Evening Spoon Report”, which I thought was a silly title for a silly endeavor. Every night, I’d carve a spoon and post pictures with some ramblings about spoon carving to whomever was out there listening. I decided to do it because, frankly, it wasn’t overtly about Covid or politics or rights or whatever the hell was pissing me off that day. I just wanted to put something into the world that was counter to what we couldn’t seem to escape. I didn’t think anyone would take notice of what I was doing or even care. I was wrong. Pretty quickly I started to receive messages from friends and acquaintances who were tuning in regularly. They told me they were eager to see what I created that day and read about the process of making the spoon or why in my head that spoon was somehow a metaphor for my thoughts that day about what was going on in my/our world. They told me that they couldn’t wait to read and see what showed up in each post. That they found it a nice break from their day. I wrote about a variety of things relating to spoon carving. I talked about the mistakes I had made creating the spoons that failed to take the shape I would have wished. I talked about the tools I used and why I chose that particular design for the spoon. I talked about my thoughts of them, the unseen other, out there alone who was suffering as I was from doubt, fear, and uncertainty. It essentially became a public daily diary with each day’s starting point being the spoon I carved and descending, or ascending to wherever my brain went while carving. I had unwittingly built a place where people could find that they were connected, or just get away from what was bothering them for a few minutes and look at and think about something they thought was beautiful, or different, or perhaps even ugly at times. 

And I found that through my carving, and really my weird little posts, I had community.

Interestingly, since playing live music has come back strongly for me, I end up selling way more hand carved wooden spoons than CDs at my gigs. It’s a good thing because what are you going to do with a few hundred wooden spoons laying about?!

Seems like a lot of lemonade to me.

~ Lee Penn Sky

Imagine finding a letter dated 1958 from a relative thought to have been lost in the Holocaust. Now imagine the path that letter would take you to find your lost family. The songs that compose Lee Penn Sky’s new album, Lean into the Letter thread together thoughts and emotions surrounding these actual events.
Lee Penn Sky on Spotify

Lockdown Lemonade is FAR-West’s response to the dramatic and drastic shifts of 2020’s global health and economic crises. For many, this cultural reckoning and political upheaval spurred a period of personal reflection and the discovery of coping mechanisms some of us didn’t even know we had. Lockdown Lemonade is a look at the bright side. With this collection of flash creative nonfiction, brief personal essays, recollections, and musings from members of our community, we hope to shine a light on the best things that can and have come out of the most challenging of times. This column will continue on a weekly basis and postings will be released at 10 AM Pacific every Monday, so watch for them! For guidelines and submission details, please contact Julie Zipperer at julieZ@far-west.org or Marlynn Block at marlynn@far-west.org Submissions will be posted based on approval from the Lockdown Lemonade Committee.
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