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Picture of the Day

April 15, 2016


                                                                      When I first moved to Seattle in '98 I was eking out a living telecommuting
                                                to the career track computer job I'd left behind in Manhattan. They were happy to use me
                                           until a replacement could be found and it eased my transition moneywise. Still being in the New
                           York habit of eating most meals out, I usually got lunch down the hill at Taco del Mar. I remember admiring
the deftness of the person rolling my burrito. That skill was beyond me. I was impressed by his dexterity and wished I could do more with my hands. I'd been a lifeguard, athlete, and teacher but I still felt basically inept when it came to working in three dimensions. So I started down a different path. Thanks to a litany of friends who gave me a chance, today I'm a passable carpenter. I went from clueless oddjob helper to architectural salvage to housebuilding with a small crew to now where I've got a full set of tools and run my own jobs, often bringing friends in to help. Is it just human nature to never be satisfied? Is that the blessing and curse of the species? It brings us technological advancement and creature comforts, but with that we accelerate the demise of the biosphere (though certainly life in other forms will go on once we clear ourselves out of the way). The jobs I do now are not particularly edifying--they're relatively basic repair and remodeling, nothing too fancy or expressive. So I get a little down on myself, partly because I don't have a huge desire to excel in this field. Craft is always my goal and I enjoy the work but it's mainly just a way to pay the bills. The problem with that is it never pays enough to free me from the grind and the amount of energy and focus I have at the end of the day seems to wane with age. Or maybe I'm just losing the fire and succumbing to distraction. Doubts aside, it is satisfying to think back to that day still so vivid in my mind when I looked with longing on the simple act of someone rolling a burrito and compare it to how far I've come. It makes me wonder how much further and in which directions I have yet to go.