What is something you learned recently?

About a year ago, I started making pens. It was entirely new to me. I love it. My interest in woodworking has continued to grow since then and I have everything to learn at each turn.

Most recently, I’ve been attempting to make boxes. The successes are small and the frustrations are great. Any idea I have has to be accompanied by research, trial, and lots of error. I’ve yet to make something I’m happy with.

Woodworking involves an incredible amount of attention to detail to be done well. It’s easy enough to cobble something together but a good job takes a lot of focussed effort. The perfectionist in me is summoned whenever I’m standing in front of my workbench. So is my impatience.

One of the greatest lessons I’m continually reminded of is to focus on the process. This seems to be the only way to arrive at a successful product. It takes a lot of time and effort without tangible progress. And, I’d be remiss to forget, a fair number of tools. A lot can be done with very little; an incredible amount of skill is required to work with wood using only a few tools.

That seems to be the way with a lot of things. Those who write well don’t need much more than ink and paper. Buddhists seem to thrive in ascetic conditions. What seems to underlie all of this is vision and the ability to materialize it. This is what I hope I’m learning how to do.


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