It’s Just Joel

I have a friend. He’s a rainy day kinda guy who finds his way around my days that are gloomy and need a poke – a dash of “You’re not that special”, or “Get away from me with your stupid humor”. You know, the kind of friend who likes me enough to be there when I need him and dislikes me enough to listen to my bad jokes. He constantly needles me with words of repute, but has a sparkle of respect in his eyes for my strange life. He’s my friend … just Joel.

This man, a few years my junior, is an expert craftsman. I’ve seen his woodworking skills in action and in 2-D pictures. Here’s an example:

See, this is one small sample from many I could show. There are rolling pins, flower pots, tree planters, containers, boxes, etc … all wonderfully caressed from his hands. As a pianist who creates from my hands, I can appreciate anyone who molds magnificence from nothing – as he does. There are few within my circle of knowing who can do this level of craftsmanship.

And why stop there? Recently, popping up on Facebook are pictorial fancies from the very phone he carries in his wood-dusted pockets. Seemingly, he could be the long lost, unknown sibling to my dear lady friend I’ve written about recently. She is wonderfully structured around flora and nature, he is naturally wondering about structures. This fascination comes through his eyes to ours as follows:

Rails, power, and invisible steps. Three out of many pictures finding their way in front of my eyes almost every day on my Facebook page – from a friend.

I don’t walk among those who explore. Joel and my other special camera friend saunter around sticks and stones looking for nature’s beauty and long lost structures that’ve rekindled their beauty in age-worn rust and rickets. This is not my thing. My duty is to sit back and enjoy their enjoyment in sharing their love of same … and then, in turn, pass that love on to you.

The same love I know Joel has when he says, “Please stop!” to me as I slip into a very eloquent joke, or long, detailed story of how my day is going. That’s how he rolls. If at any point he leans in with dutiful intent and queries, “Please tell me, Doug. How are you today?”, I will pause, get up from my seat, head out the door, and then go for a long, long walk … exploring in the deep woods, looking for the alien ship that carried the E.T. that took over Joel’s soul.

On my way back, however, I’ll be sure to find that perfect piece of lumber. I need him to make me a new piano bench – which I’m sure he’ll do. He’s that good of a friend. He’s just Joel.

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