This morning, I had trouble getting started. No illness, no feeling bad, just… didn’t wanna. Eventually, I did get up and do tai chi and qi gong, but… for all the challenge of getting there, you’d think I was recovering from heart surgery instead of a blister on my hand.
That said, it was a good weekend. I bounced between numerous projects or parts of projects. Sunday I worked at a smithy for a few hours, hammering out the blade of a knife for the first time. It’s more suited for cheese or butter than for stabbity-stabbity, but it’s recognizable. I gave myself the blister then.
When I wasn’t working on the knife or the knife handle (a piece of cherry I’m hand-carving, which is more work than it sounds like and then some), I was assembling the CNC milling machine. That’s coming along nicely, although I broke a tapping bit inside a 4.5mm hole that I was making into a 5mm threaded hole. Oops. Three trips to the hardware store and a couple of emails later, and maybe it’s fixed, but it’s hard to be sure. At this point I won’t know if it works correctly until the machine is assembled and running.
Saturday night I took myself down to Providence to meet with a former student and a friend of his. They’re just starting to make their first forays into craft, from the sound of it; still a little uncertain. I’ve said before that I should write a course along the lines of Jason Miller’s Strategic Sorcery or Rufus Opus’s Red Work, or Deb Castellano’s Arte of Glamour, but I’m not sure what I’d say in that course which would be much different. On the other hand, anyone who is doing the work could write a book or a course, I’m sure… but we’re all using some variant of the set of things that work; and there’s bound to be quite a bit of overlap from person to person. Not ideal from a copyright perspective, but an interesting problem.
Then there’s the little matter of my dad’s birthday party. I met mom and dad for a little dinner party on Monday night, to raise a glass and toast his seventy-fifth year. Amazing man.
In any case, it’s been days of running around, doing good work. So if I have a slow day today, so what? Tomorrow will come soon enough, and better work can be attempted tomorrow.
And I think that’s one of the great benefits of tai chi or of any daily practice: if you’re doing the work, you come to the realization that any given day may not matter very much in the grand scheme of things. Some of them are more important than others, but the big thing is to be out there, getting things done. Ok, for some people it’s all about meditation and sitting there — but even monks have to work or beg for a living. The labor of the work is encapsulated in the joy that comes from doing hard things, well, over and over, and finding enjoyment in it most of the time.
Maybe today wasn’t the best. Wonders still abound, and Earth still abides.