The real pleasure of physical work

It was my first day back at work today after a four day long weekend which started with “Workers day on Thursday 1 May. I spent much of my worker’s day weekend working. Physical work, cutting trees, hauling branches, digging, holes, building fences and fixing quad bikes. Physical work is for me a kind of meditation. I am sure that’s not the right term, but its something that is good for me. It makes me feel alive and somehow “in touch”. Working outside, with the land and the forest has a very different feeling to “working” at my desk in the office, where I am invariably, writing or designing, or delegating or managing or strategising or cajoling or apologising or berating. In fact I am no longer sure that “working” is the correct term for what I do in the office, or for what millions of white collar workers do around the world in offices just like mine every day. There is such a disconnectedness between my actions in my office and anything actually getting done physically in the real world. So much of the office energy goes toward complying with government and bureaucracy. So much energy goes into delegating what I have been tasked with to someone who will delegate to still someone else who will delegate to someone else. So much energy we put in to avoid doing any real work. Years and years of study and building our careers to be sure that we are as far as possible away from being called upon to do any physical work, and for what? Because when I am there, on the ground, wrestling the chainsaw or hammering the nail or straining the wire, it is glorious, it is satisfying
and I am in a place that I want to be.

Is it just me?

160 cc Susuki Quadrunner helping out with some fence poles.
The right tools obviously make things a little easier.

Author: Tim Hewitt-Coleman

The World can be a better place.... But how? Taking the debate beyond the political, beyond the theoretical into the real economy, into the physical and spatial dimension where cities, landscapes and livelihoods take form.

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