No self respecting man, woman, pirate or pirate wench would be caught without their faithful blade. These are just a smattering of the knifes that have found their way shipboard. I give knives away often knowing that if I only have one razor sharp edge with me I have the tool for every job.
When I was 5 years old I lived a stones throw from the trail head at the very top of Lake Street in Altadena California. We were a hippie family, raised our own chickens and farmed our own fruit and vegetables. My father loved to take us into the woods and teach us how it was our natural home. I can still remember that cool fall day when he told me if I could walk all the way to the top of the mountain and back without crying or being carried he would buy me my first survival knife. We met many hikers in those days. We never hiked, the mountains were our yard so we only walked, climbed and occasionally skipped.
It was a long hard day that seemed to never end but like a pirate ever seeking that elusive treasure their was a bounty waiting for me at the end of the trailhead were I had begun. The next weekend found me a the local gun shop eyeing all the different shapes and sizes of shiny new knifes. I settled on a nice 4″ blade with a bone handle and leather sheath. I thought the lesson being taught was how to climb a mountain but it wasn’t, it was one of many in self sufficiency, respect and caring for my tools.
He taught me that my knife was mine and mine alone to never share it or even let anyone touch it as it was my most important tool. I cared for and carried that knife for nearly 20 years before it was stolen. These days my knife is always firmly attached and I use it about a hundred times a day.
Soon after, he taught me to make fire. Not by striking a match but by rubbing two sticks together. Each lesson had its purpose but it had nothing to do with with the tools at hand, the lessons were how to become a man, how to grow to be so self sufficient and that I can survive anywhere with only tow things.
Strung around my neck under my shirt or stealthily lashed in a horizontal carrying position on the back of my belt I know its always there. Sharp enough to shave my face, light enough that it doesn’t pull my pants down and the perfect fit for my hand.
Like fire, the knife is a symbol of man passed from one generation to the next, of freedom, of choice, of wild. It doesn’t give me freedom but it represents the one thing about life that we seem so soon to forget. I was born wild and I fully intend to die that way but not before I have passed the knowledge handed to me.
“…no woman can love a weak man hard enough to make him strong.” ~Unknown