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a saw and a nail, a passing word

      Every man has his favorite unkrinklers — certain things he knows to do which he likes to do and which the moment he begins them, proceed to take out the krinkles both in his mind and in his body — things that induce co-ordinated positions and suddenly soothe his nerves.
      With me it is puttering about with a saw and a nail or so, preparing some little handy surprise in the house while the others are away, or I play with the pruning shears or an axe and cut out pictures of Mount Tom through the trees. Walking is the best unkrinkler for many people.
      Every man has his own set of activities which when he is way down, he can use to pull himself out with, things which unconsciously swing him into a right rhythm — that is into a right position of mind and body and get his mind and body started.
      Certain men and women are unkrinklers. They seem to put sometimes, just with a passing word, one’s whole world about one into happy relations...

ex Invisible Exercise : Seven Studies in Self Command with Practical Suggestions and Drills, by Gerald Stanley Lee.
Being the story of one man’s experience in coming through to a new kind of exercise — a setting-up exercise taken without getting up ten minutes early — an exercise that can be taken in half a minute without interrupting one’s work, while sitting at one’s desk, while standing and talking in the street, or lying back in an easy chair — taken without anybody’s knowing one is taking it, and eventually without even knowing it one’s self.
(New York: E. P. Dutton, 1922) : 248
same (UC copy, at Hathitrust)

The word “puttering” is favored by Gerald Stanley Lee, appearing at several points in his published writings (and in the writings, too, of his wife Jennette Lee (see 112 for excerpt from her novel Kate Wetherill (1900)).
note to self : gather all of these passages in one post.

Gerald Stanley Lee (1862-1944), wikipedia

8 June 2022