I am a blacksmith. In days of old, I was responsible for making weapons of protection and I would be duty-bound for making and breaking forged tools and chains.
I would make repairs and keep up—perfect—my work. To learn the trade I made mistakes, and then I would repair the mistakes to learn to achieve greatness. I would train an apprentice in his ways to carry on my traditions and I taught him to leave his makers-mark on his most prized work as I did.
I would get filthy dirty, the more grimed and defiled my body became throughout the day and the more I sweat the stronger I became—a reflection of a proper blacksmith. I had been taught that an undernourished finely well-dressed clean blacksmith is the sign of an unengaged workless blacksmith. I have a powerful grip and massive biceps because of long days of working with very heavy materials such as iron and steel and heavy tools.
When the chains of oppression are forged, they become the strongest chains known to humankind. It is not the physical chains which are the strongest, the chains of oppression forged over time are the most difficult to break. In much the same ways I break chains, to severe a link on a chain of oppression you must have a firm grip. One must continually gain strength, as you grow weary while by the sweat of your brow you know not where the strength for your next swing of the hammer will be coming. With every blow of the hammer against the weakening iron, one must raise his chin and persevere compelling the forces, which would cause one to remain in oppression. Dig deep, deep within the recesses of your essence to conquer that filthy adversary—yourself—your most eminent oppressor.
The blueprints do not mean much to a journeyman blacksmith, for a journeyman has memorized the plans, the tools, the techniques, and can forge blindfolded. Solid ground is of utmost importance, one must plant his feet and have good balance. A foundation may not have been included in the master plan from birth, it is up to us to decide when and what foundation to include and forge new chains. The tools may be broken—corroded with age, it is then when it is time to forge new tools. It is not important to know why, the blacksmith knows not why the filly broke her shoe when she limped into his shop, nor does he blame the young horse he merely replaces the shoe with a new one and he sends her on her way.
At the end of the day, everyone in town is aware of the blacksmith’s schedule. The clinking and clanging, banging and striking come to a sudden halt. The heat from the coals begin to cool. The bellows come to a rest for the evening. A pile of soot shoveled into a once clean corner and the hammers are all securely hanging at ease on the wall, or strategically aligned on the blacksmiths bench. Surely if the blacksmith is absent, the community will notice.
When the dust settles the folk in the community are well aware of the blacksmiths presence, his strength and his calm. The fine works of a good blacksmith can survive decades and possibly hundreds of years.
I am a blacksmith…