the bellhouse..

from The Zen Revolution, Chapter Four, Vashon:

“The Patriarch noticed that the bellhouse had fallen into neglect. The kids from the school nearby were throwing rocks at it. He asked the Abbot to have us dismantle it and move it to a new location. Dominik — a man of the world with the wind in his teeth and a communist fag under his feet, a man who stood like a beacon for all oppressed people, had no skill of this sort. He hated hand tools, unless they were fashioned out of things found under the woodpile. He was adamant about this. I wasn’t much better, but I had some facility with power tools, and all of my fingers. Dominik had the idea to carve our own nails out of wood, but fortunately there wasn’t time. I rescued what I could from the basement. He went along with it as long as I did the actual work. He stayed with me through every turn of the screw until we had it raised. We had a crane hoist the 2-ton bell down into the frame. As soon as we had the chain loose,he went back to the plumbing.I finished the job on my own, with an old Rockwell saw with a hot-wired switch. You plugged it straight in and RAWWWWWRR! …it was cutting before you could catch up to it. Snow started falling as soon as I had enough planks down to collect it. I flew off the roof a dozen times, with that Rockwell spitting fire behind me. Damned lucky I survived. Somehow the pitch of the roof came out different than we planned, but it couldn’t be helped. I’m sure if you protracted the angle of a man falling to his peril, it would take that shape.”

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