What an amazing weekend. I generally don’t share much about my personal life on this blog, but I realized this weekend if “lessons learned” is to have any meaning, I ought to be able to walk the walk (and write about it).
The short story is I met an amazing woman (well, we met last weekend, but this weekend is when things took off). She’s insightful, kind, courageous, fun… and miracle of miracles, the attraction seems mutual! We’re both trying to take our time and “do this right” at the same time sparks are flying and hearts are pounding. It’s probably a good thing we won’t see each other again until this weekend.
So what are those “lessons learned” I’ve written so far? Time for me to take my own advice.
May 16: “Pay attention!” By letting my attention wander during a delicate operation I snapped the end off of my workpiece. Paying attention, being present, is generally a good idea anyway, right?
May 27: “Measure twice, cut once.” The idea here is to think twice before committing to a potentially irreversible course of action. ’nuff said.
May 29: “Sense of humor is critical.” Within the space of a couple of days I’d lost the keys to my house late at night, and then went on a long hike where we got lost and ran dry on water. Two situations that could have unglued me were manageable by being to find some humor in them. Sometimes, even when talking about “serious” issues, we need to remember to keep our humor.
May 31: “I have never seen a wild thing feel sorry for itself (DH Lawrence)” Lesson there was to just accept that sometimes I’m going to be in a crappy space, and do something productive with it rather than just dwell on the bad feelings.
June 3: “Every piece of wood is unique” I’d been reflecting on how I’d assumed every piece of ebony (a nearly-black wood) looks the same, when in fact when I tried to match two pieces I could see the subtle differences in contast. Every person is certainly unique, too – putting someone in a “box” or labeling is counter-productive.
June 7: “Shortcuts generally don’t work” Had to learn this one twice already – trying to take shortcuts when gluing up thick stock just didn’t work out right. The more tedious but correct way of multiple and sufficient clamps was needed.
June 8: “SLOW DOWN” In fact, my posting from that date is worth quoting verbatim:
This is exactly the emotional/mental spot I’m trying to train myself to pause in. I can trace just about every mistake on a project to this slightly manic feeling of wanting to push forward when I hadn’t thought it through. Frankly, it’s *fun* to shoot from the hip, to be in “flow,” etc. Stopping, pausing, deliberating… That’s not “fun” in the same way.
This has already bitten me at the beginning of a very promising romance. It’s hard to back off when the adrenaline is pumping…
Hmmm… upon reflection this is a relatively mundane set of “lessons,” but I’ve barely been at this self-reflective blogging in the woodshop a couple of months. I’m getting a little more creative in my pen turning, too (see above photo). This overall shape is copied from one I saw in a catalog, but as time goes on I’ll start getting a feel for my own style and flare in pen sculpting.