On my computer screen there are six windows opened with writing in various stages of incompleteness. In my workshop stand two nearly complete garden doors and piles of material waiting to be made into something. If I just worked to complete what I’ve planned, it would take two years.
But my mind doesn’t work that way. So far this week at a friend’s suggestion I’ve thought of three new books I could write along with two new major cabinetry projects. By the time I catch up with my current projects, I expect to have collected a dozen more.
Sometimes I think that life would be easier if I was just obsessed by sports and spent my Sundays watching games and evenings reading stories about last Sunday’s contests. Other than mowing the lawn and changing light bulbs, I wouldn’t have to do too much. Well, there would be trips to the store for drinks and chips.
That’s not who I am or what I do.
I am a maker. In the shop I make things that you can touch with your hand. On the computer I put words together that build an image in your mind – a poem to share a feeling, a blog post to create a simile and a story just because it needs to be told.
It’s what I do. Sometime I think about why I do it, but most times I end up in the same place. I do it because that’s what I do. In a store, I’ll look at a product and think – I could make that.
Sometimes I try to bring theology into the picture. God made us in his image. God is a creator, therefore we must be creators to. Perhaps a bit simplistic, but I often feel the most connected to God and the universe when I am creating something. That sense of being at one with the world most often comes to me when I have a screwdriver in hand or I am sitting at the keyboard with the words flowing onto the screen.
At other times that feeling of being spiritually filled up comes while walking in nature or an art gallery. It just sets my mind free from cares, as I see possibilities.
Monastic orders sometimes viewed work as prayer. The Order of Saint Benedict’s motto is Ora et Labora – Pray and work. I think I would have made a good monk . The act of work, creating, doing, is actually a prayer. It can also be a mediation. There is something about physical work that focuses the mind and soul.
It doesn’t really matter that I’ve not completed everything I’ve planned.
What really matters is that I’ve spent time in my shop, at the keyboard and I’ve been true to who I am.
Till next week,