As Still As Steel

I lie in anticipation, waiting for another busy day to begin. The room is dark and dreary, void of all life.  The only sound is the continuous hum of the vents, but after a while, it too seems to fade. The unbroken silence of the night feels rather eerie and unnatural compared to the typical clamor of the day. I long for the seemingly eternal hush to end.



With the flick of a switch, the room is instantly brought to life. People promptly pour through the door and the roar of saws and the sweet smell of freshly cut wood quickly fills the air. I always find the cacophony of machinery oddly satisfying after a long night. Soon it will be my turn to join in the uncoordinated symphony of sounds.


I am swiftly snatched from the tool rack and clasped tightly in hand. Rough and worn, I know these are the hands of an artisan. I too am worn from years of service. My steel head has grown tarnished with specks of rust and the fractures forming in my handle have been mended with ragged strips of duct tape. Despite these shortcomings, my dedication never dwindles. I am built to work hard and to endure. This is my purpose and I embrace it.


Soon we approach the task at hand – a wooden frame in need of assembly. Slowly and delicately, the artisan lifts me into the air. I bob up and down for a moment, lining up for the perfect shot. With a single, sudden stroke, I am brought down with great strength and a dull clap resonates across the room. As I drive the nail deeper and deeper into the wooden beam, the perpetual pounding creates a rhythm for the otherwise dissonant sounds in the shop.


Swing, strike, repeat.

The flurry of activity slowly dies down and it soon becomes silent and static. The day seems to end as abruptly as it began. As the last few stragglers depart, the room is plunged into darkness once again. As the silence sets in, I lie in wait once more, eagerly anticipating another day full of sound.