Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Craftsman Effect

  Yesterday my wife, daughter and I were sitting at the bar in my friends restaurant having a drink. It is my forty ninth birthday and we decided to come for dinner to mark the event.

  I was looking at the others patrons sitting at the bar. Yes I admit that I am gawker. But I find people most interesting. So many differences. But lets get back on track here. As most of them leaned on the cove bar rail that I crafted for my friend it started me thinking. Thinking how good I felt seeing them use the railing while they talked and smiled. For them to know that I built it was not important. The railing is important. Important to their comfort which helps them relax which leads to easy conversation and a memorable visit to this place. How many lives had I affected since I put this rail on the bar two years ago? My finished work was much more important than I first thought. I feel humbled.

   I sank farther into my mind and pondered the following about life.

  Forty Nine, not a celebrated year like others. Fifty is the new Forty they say. Bullshit say I, you can't go back. This is the year that comes with the quite realization that youth is long gone and the end is closer than one thought. You will step off into what for most men is the last productive quarter of their lives. I believe seventy five (for me and most anyway) is the end of workable life. After this point you can offer advice to those who would listen or pretend to listen.

  So here I am, at the edge of a long downward slope to the end. Yup over the hill. This slope need not be steep and swift. I think that I have, or hope that I have the control over the speed of decent. I hope the next twenty five will be healthy and fruitful. I hope to continue to craft beautiful items which will be enjoyed or cherished by those who will be here long after I have passed.

   In the last quarter I hope to teach another, inspire many and leave items that one can touch and feel. Hopefully they will feel what I felt when I crafted those items. The comfort of a well built chair. The relaxing support of a perfectly crafted cove railing. The smoothness of a finely finished table top.
The soft light of a beautiful lamp. Using a handily shaped spoon. The waiting bench built with strong arms shaped to ease oneself into a standing position. The sturdy comfort of a well fitted bed frame. The embrace of a smooth rocking chair. The easy reach to an end table or nightstand. The sturdy dining table built for many to gather around to feast and make merry.

   I want to leave behind well built and comfortable items that can make people feel good for many generations to come. This will be my legacy. My mark on the world. Unsung or not, I will know that I tried my best. Hopefully my best will be enjoyed by all and stand against the ravages of time.

   Time. I hate you.
You never stand still. You are a thief. I think I own the moments but I do not. Time allows you to do what you wish with those moments. If you waste moments, Time does not care. Time has an endless supply.

  So Time, I will try to make every moment from here on in count to me and everyone I know.

Thanks for reading

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