I see, said the blind man, and he picked up a hammer and saw. Not blindness, exactly, but a very objective and analytical kind of seeing is required to cut down a tree, or to cut one up that has fallen on its own and may be spring-loaded with hidden stresses. Especially in a second-growth hardwood forest, where trees aren’t so massive that their falling will always follow a straight line, the logger must stay focused on the play of forces, ready to jump back at a moment’s notice.
But as time passes and the new surfaces made by a chainsaw begin to weather, strange things can happen. Those few minutes filled with the shriek and stink of the saw can acquire a patina of legend, in the way that violence so often seems to impart a glow of significance to the grayness of the ordinary.
But forget all that and look at the sawn wood. Should we be surprised if something that once passed messages between the sun and the underground kingdoms of the fungi should retain, even in its severed parts, a bit of magic?