Zen and the Art of Vicious Cycle Maintenance .
I’m embarrassed to admit this is my shop when I walked in this afternoon. It’s bad. It’s really bad. But worse - it’s not “I have a dozen projects I’m juggling” bad. It’s an “I haven’t really been invested in a project so the place has collected shit on and off for a few years” bad.
This isn’t even the shittiest pic I could have taken. I’ve saved you the craptastic piles directly stage right.
In the spring of 2018 I tore the distal biceps on my left arm. I found several other distractions in the 4 months of downtime and rehab. The arm was weaker but it was my off arm so I could deal.
Almost exactly 2 years later. Spring 2020 I tore my right arm distal biceps. PT and rehab in the pandemic was much more complicated for many reasons. The arm is weak and still feels weak.
In the wake of these things - I just haven’t felt at home in the place I’ve always felt so very happy and at home. I’ve lost momentum, gained inertia, gotten in my own way…. Package the bullshit however you want. I just haven’t had the desire to be out here and that bothers me.
Last week we had some very bad weather coming through. Possible tornados, shearing winds, bad juju all around. We were fortunate to lose a few small branches and nothing more but in anticipation I went to the shop and picked around filling my traditional tool chest with the tools that were supposed to be in there and many of my favorite/valuable tools that hang on nails and pegs around the shop. I basically made my own version of a Benjamin Seaton Tool Chest. A doomsday chest if you will - prepared to be pulled out of the rubble and hauled to the next workshop if the big bad wolf blew this shop over.
The experience made me think about the shop more in the last week than I have in a long time and I thought about how uncomfortable my neglect made it for me to go in there - which bla bla bla viscous cycle bla bla bla.
Today I bundled up in my long underwear and went to clean up and put some things away. I unpacked some things from the chest back into their usual homes I reset up my sharpening station and I made a dent - a very small dent - in the chaos.
I thought it would make me feel better. It really hasn’t. It has made me spend the evening rethinking what I want in a shop.
Hopefully more on this in the near future.
Thanks for being here.