Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Posts Tagged ‘Norman Maclean

The carpenter’s son

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“Maclean” means son of a carpenter. That’s what my family has been. They were all carpenters. My father was the pride and joy of his sisters because he made his living without his hands. He was a marvelous carpenter himself…Working with hands is one of our deepest and most beautiful characteristics. I think the most beautiful parts of the human body are the hands of certain men and women. I can’t keep my eyes off them. I was brought up to believe that hands were the instrument of the mind. Even doing simple things. I still look pretty good with an axe…

You have to be gifted with a long life to attain a dream and make it harmonious. I feel infinitely grateful in my old age that I’ve had in this country, within my family, the training needed to be the best that was in me. It’s no great thing, but at seventy-five, I’m fulfilled. There aren’t any big pieces in me that never got a chance to come out. They may say at the end of my life, I have no alibis. I have two children of my own, whom I admire and love and try not to annoy very much. I see my father going right on with my children. You’ve got to pass the ball along.

Norman Maclean, quoted in American Dreams: Lost and Found by Studs Terkel

Written by nevalalee

July 4, 2017 at 7:30 am

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