My wife went on a Scything course recently and brought back a brand new Austrian Fux, which we've already put to good use in the meadow.

The amount of land you can clear with one good slice of this thing is fucking insane — providing you can use it skilfully, which is far more of a challenge than you probably imagine it to be.

This particular Scythe is made in the 'continental style', which is the most readily available and widely used variety around today. It differs from the traditional English and Anglo-American types mostly in the thickness of its blade, and thus too in the weight of the body that supports it. This Austrian style Scythe is lighter and easier to begin working with, and its blade requires far fewer trips to the grindstone than its siblings and precursors.

The ultimate low-tech tool, the beauty of the Scythe isn't purely found in its efficiency and sustainability, though those certainly factor into its continued use. No, the true worth of the Scythe is in its expansion of the body — to skilfully wield the Scythe is to allow it to transcend the realm of the object, to allow it to merge with the entirety of form. To become an expert, one must come to know the Scythe as a tendril of the mind, reaching out to touch the Earth. This flowing, focused experience is hard to describe and it doesn't all come at once, it takes practice, clarity, and a unique wholeness of being. If it can be effortlessly mastered, the user may find that with it comes a new awareness of the blurred boundaries between the self and the land.

“The longer Levin went on mowing, the oftener he experienced those moments of oblivion when his arms no longer seemed to swing the scythe, but the scythe itself his whole body, so conscious and full of life; and as if by magic, regularly and definitely without a thought being given to it, the work accomplished itself of its own accord. These were blessed moments.” (Anna Karenina)

#journal