I had another unexpected ride on the griefcoaster this weekend–I started shopping for a new sewing machine Friday night and all I wanted was to ask my mom’s advice.
Luckily, my friend had a party Saturday night to celebrate quitting a job that wasn’t working for her. It included axe (well, tomahawk) throwing and I finally got to try that and let me tell you, it’s as cathartic as I expected it to be:
That is my handiwork in that photo–the only time I managed to stick one in the target, but I’m hooked. The whole time I was practicing, I kept thinking about that essay I linked in October, “An Axe For The Frozen Sea“:
I’m interested in the linguistic distinction between tool and weapon. One intended for making; the other, violence. The axe is the longest-used tool in human history, dating to the Paleolithic era. It’s also most certainly a weapon: Lizzie Borden, Trotsky, and the Villisca Axe Murders, to name a few, and Jack Nicholson in the last half of The Shining.
“You too have your tools,” wrote Kafka in a passage about fear, and I thought of that line whenever I was scared: I will get through this. I can talk to friends, write about it. Years later, I came across a different translation of the same text: “You too have your weapons.” That seemingly simple switch changed the entirety of my inner dialogue: I will defend myself, I will fuck you up, come and get me, fear.
Come and get me, grief. We’ve got axes to throw.