Working on finishing up Six Ways, taking apart and resetting the shop, washing the benches, tools, and spirit-vessels in sacred water, this has been a good few days. I’ve been feeling both good, and a bit ‘off’, that kind of ‘off’ where there is specific work to do, but you are not quite sure what it is yet. Have you had that experience?
It took me a couple of years of doing this work to get really comfortable with the reality of how I get to do what I do. Most of my ‘career’ working was either as (as Aimee Mann calls it) a Specialist in Retail or in some kind of Facilities Management. These are both zones of putting out fires, time constraints, deadlines, and contractual obligations to what happens, both how and when. I was good at all of this. But it was always a challenge, as my psyche really is wired to another kind of time, another kind of flow.
I never had the chance to step into that flow in a sustained way, until I began this talismanic jeweler path. And it is rather off-kilter as it relates to the more (apparently) ordered and constrained path of the modern ‘sales’ driven world.
There are days (and these things are discussed in depth by Blu here) where all I ‘get’ to do is cleaning and clearing work. I don’t touch a saw or other tool unless it is to move them aside to get at a surface to take care of or to wash them, thank them, and re-consecrate them. The same goes with design work or finishing. It happens when it is supposed to, when I am allowed to do it. Even the actual workflow, which is in theory purely occurring solely based on the order dates of pieces, actually varies quite a lot. Some pieces just say ‘not now’ or ’no more’ regardless of where I am in the process. They may be set aside with an hour left of finishing work, or before I make the first cuts. Some say ‘right now, today. This hour!’. This is a natural process when working with these creatures, these spirit vessels. Trying to work against it is not only counter-productive but disrespectful of the things-in-themselves.
Being able to do what I do, how I do it is only partially about me. It is equally about my fantastic clients, who not only put up with these peculiarities of mine, but in essence, demand them. Who come to me not in spite of but rather because of them! How cool are these people? Pretty damn cool, I think.
So here in Eclipse season, having my coffee and moving towards getting outside and feeding the animals, and looking forward to finishing two pieces that are telling me it's time to finish, I am feeling great appreciation for all of you. I send my blessings to you and yours. You are all very special to me. Thank you.