Saturday, 21 August 2010

Death of a Nail

I watched the hammer strike the head of the nail. The thin silver cap bent and buckled. The nail sank deeper into the wood. It was nearly done for. Only the smallest brim was above the flat of the wood now. One more strike and it would be completely submerged. The hammer raised up preparing for another blow. I thought of the fear that nail would be feeling. It is impossible to empathise with a piece of ironmongery so close to having its existence extinguished under the almighty force of a large claw hammer. But I tried. Still gravity overcame the upward thrust of the hammer and it started to fall. Gathering speed its aim was perfect. I wanted to close my eyes but I had to be there for the nail in its final moments. With a dampened thud the hammer struck. There was no scream, I wasn't even sure if the nail was still cognizant at the moment prior to the strike. Now there was no doubt. The brave little nail was no more.

As I reflected on the profligate abandonment in which we spend lives in the name of cabinet making the carpenter pulled another nail from his pouch. He placed the tip not more than an inch from the grave of the now dead nail and lined up another hammer blow.

Will it ever end?

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