|Forum topic by MarkTheFiddler||posted 217 days ago||458 views||0 times favorited||14 replies|
217 days ago
My garage is a total mess. There are projects in there that can potentially keep me busy for the next year. I have to clear a path just to walk through the garage. I need the garage so I can work on all those future projects. Everything has a layer of sawdust on it. Nasty!!
I want a nice dill press, a workbench, great table saw with run off, cabinets for my tools, a planer, a DUST COLLECTOR and space to work. I shouldn’t buy any of those things until I have a place to put them. I know some of these items will improve my accuracy and make my passion for woodworking so much easier.
And then I get an idea that I want to pursue, I dive into it. The mess get’s worse. I didn’t pay my dues and do what was important first. Now I’m in it just a bit deeper. At some point, I may need to purge myself of all the stacked projects and move on. I might have to say – ‘it’s just too late to do anything about it’. I’m getting awfully close to that place.
I have got to put aside my ‘grand’ and ‘gotta do it now’ ideas and knock the stacked up projects out. I have got to invest the time in those projects that may be far less gratifying than my new ideas.
That’s just my metaphor for what’s really on my mind. I have to give one more so I can bring it home well (I hope).
A very good friend of mine was an outstanding fiddler. He was a state champion. He made his living from playing in Branson Missouri. He lived his dream and never tried to grow up.
Despite his amazing playing, he had a really hard time reading music. He was very slow at it. He got so good at fiddling that he could just hear something and go with it. He was so incredibly talented with his “ear”. He never went back and learned to read music and he defended himself by saying ‘WHY – I don’t need it! Forget it!’
I’m going to very humbly say that for some reason he loved my fiddling. I can not tell you how honored I was by his opinion of me.
He lived his life for self gratification. That life played hell on his liver and he started to get really sick. He started asking me to play his Texas gigs. He started to miss out on other activities he had planned as well but he would show to some of them. You could tell he was struggling. By his skin color and eyes, you could see that it was getting close.
One day he sent me a message. Mark, I just wrote a tune called Texas Mark C. I tried to capture what I love about your fiddlin’ but it’s got a lot of my stuff in there too. I’ll send you a recording in a couple of days.
2 days later. Mark, I’m stuck in a hospital bed, I have my laptop with me so I can do a little typing. You have got to hear this new tune! I can’t wait to get out of here!
My friend never left the hospital. My friend never learned to read or write music. The last song he conceived was gone. He wanted desperately to share it. I didn’t travel the 8 hours to go see him and transcribe. I could have been performing his final gift. I could have received that honor. Its … Gone. It’s gone because he decided he didn’t need to take care of his stuff. It’s gone because, I didn’t get around to taking care of my stuff and going to see him.
Is there Stuff in your way? If you have EVER been defensive about your woodworking, there is stuff in your way. If you find yourself on the defensive at all, there is stuff in your way.
We do the wrong thing all the time. We do a lesser job than we hope for all the time. We are flawed. At some point all us have rationalized our flaws. I understand a great many things about rationalizing and self preservation is usually at the root of it all. Rationalization is like taking an orange crayon and filling in a blemish on an otherwise beautiful cherry table. Everyone can see the shoddy repair but we convince ourselves that it’s not there – mostly. When someone starts to rub away that crayon, we get fired up. We want to convince people that the crayon is just right. We try to change their thinking. If they don’t change their thinking or they don’t back down, we get angry. We lash out. We convince ourselves that they are jerks. We throw away the person who might be the one person who can make a lasting and positive change in our lives because they said “Is that a crayon mark?”
How many of us have submitted a project or other photo diaries where we picked the very best angle? The parts that were not perfect, didn’t make the cut. Do you think it’s limited to our photos here? We are either hiding our flaws or defending them. Either way, it’s stuff that get’s in the way.
If we threw out all the stuff in our garages because we couldn’t get around to it and things were just too difficult to manage otherwise, it’s permanent. We can’t throw out our flaws or the stuff we carry around. It’s not a garage and we can’t sweep it out. We have to go back and take care of all those undone projects to clean out the garage.
If your stuff hurts because someone is rubbing away that crayon, try to think about it. Instead of being angry – you could say a multitude of things. “Yeah – that blemish, I don’t have the skills to fix it.” “I got impatient and I just left it there.” Give a truthful answer that get’s to the core, not blame, of why you left that blemish. Trust me it helps you as well as builds respect and friendships.
Now the crayon rubber could be a normal helpful person and ask – why don’t you try this? If you don’t ever want to go back to that blemish and correct it, tell them “I’m going to leave it just like it is.” Don’t say things like “I think it adds character.” If they persist with being ‘helpful’. Respond with a basic truth “I really don’t have the heart for it. Let’s leave that blemish alone for now.”
If your stuff happens to be a lack of skills. You can either compound it by bringing in the other stuff like pride and rationalization OR you could expose your lack of skills. You could praise somebody with the skills you want to have yourself. If you can never get back around to learning those skills, I get it. Just think about this before you clean out the garage of all the undone projects. Are you one skill away from achieving your masterpiece? Are you one skill away from giving your friend the gift of a new piece of music from your heart.
This website is one of my two all time favorites. The people here are awesome. There are great teachers. There is great talent. There are some beautiful philosophies.
If we can clean some of that stuff out – we may find that we are great students and start doing things we never dreamed of. We could start today. A year from now we can look back and be amazed at what has happened in our lives and what we have accomplished. Seven years from now we might see some folks being hurt and lashing out on a forum website. Then we could create a forum topic from our hearts because we understand where it comes from.
For me – My hope is to be able to rub that crayon mark off the blemish the right way. Maybe I’ll be better at it in seven years. I know I’ve been rubbing a few crayons marks with this post. I’ll always wonder if I did it the right way.
I’d be completely remiss If I didn’t share the following: I still have a boatload of projects in the garage to complete, both metaphorically and literally. I better get at it.
-- Learning is like a door. Open it and there are hundreds more on the other side. Thanks for all the lessons!