So often in the past I have come out here with a hand full of lists
and a head full of plans - trying to fill the 'unforgiving minute'
with more than its alloted sixty seconds.
The press of making a living made being in the shop an experience too
often governed by the cares of money and time.
Even though it was work that I thoroughly enjoyed, it was still work -
in that it had to be done according to the rules of time and money.
Tonight I came into the shop, after a day of haggling and whining over
money and time at my current and still new job - and found the shop to
be what it has not always been before - a place of refuge.
I cleared the workbench, as I had always done first thing when getting
in the shop - but this time it was only to make space for the laptop -
to read the newly filtered and blessedly tranquil newsgroup that has
so often been a friend to me.
There was enough space left over to place a beer - so crisp and cold
that one more degree less would have begun to freeze it.
I dusted off a few of the machines and visited the wood rack, for the
first time in a long time - thinking about what sort of things might
be made from this good stuff.
My daughter needs a desk and I found myself sketching out a rough
design. Maybe I'll draw it up and make the cutlist - and maybe I'll
just wing it.
The second beer found me standing idly and looking at the sun set and
how it played on the waters of the creek behind the shop.
I felt my shoulders drop below the level of my ears, for the first
time this day.
I was thinking to myself - this is what the shop feels like to a man
who does his woodworking for the simple joy of it.
I liked that feeling.
Thomas J. Watson - Cabinetmaker, ret.
tjwatson1atcomcastdotnet (real email)