Friday, March 27, 2009

Wood moves

Just as rust never sleeps, wood moves. Right in step with the spring equinox, in the last week I've noticed some of the doors around the house emerging from their winter sticknicitude* while others are reverting from winter freedoms to their summer catchy stations. A sort of changing of the guard for the doors.

It also reveals itself in my guitar necks. As fall sets in and leaches humidity, the wood in the necks of the guitars slowly dries out and start to raise the tension on the strings and straighten their necks out as if they could approximate good posture. What to do but tune them down a bit and give the truss rod some relief- loosen it. At ease, gentlemen.

But now it's spring, and the humidity rolls in, reversing the winter's arid effects. Day by day now I've noticed the action turning into a trapeze wire. The tuning slumps low. And so the truss rod is given a tweak in the opposite direction. Straighten Up! Look Sharp! Attention!

Is this significant? Well, yes and no. As with all things minute in nature, the movement can be undetectible to those not paying close attention until finally it crosses a threshhold and -whoomp, there it is.

Yes, that's an analogy for the typically subteranean shifts in our daily political lives. I beg of you to pay attention to the seismic tremors big and small happening in our country these last six months, because we've gone way past that threshhold of visibility and are entering into critical stresses.

Yes, wood moves. Back and forth, back and forth with the seasons. But you can't fold a guitar- you'll break its neck.

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