15″ x 17″, graphite on paper, 2014
Physical labor used to be much more a part of our daily lives, and was not considered to be beneath middle class dignity as it is these days. Now we have machines to do everything, from manufacturing nearly every object in the known world, to feeding the cat or brushing your teeth.
Try mowing your lawn with a manual reel mower and see what kind of looks you get from the neighbors. I know. I’ve had some stares. Apparently, breaking a sweat is not to be done outside of prescribed places and activities, like the gym. If there’s a labor saving device available, there must be something wrong if you’re not using it.
I’ve found there are many benefits to mowing after dark, (which you can do with a manual mower relatively quietly) one of which is not getting unwelcome commentary and comes in handy if you happen to live in an area where the act of doing your own lawn is considered déclassé.