I start this blog post with a question about the creation of our modern day “week,” asking myself, “When and where did it all begin?” and am most pleased with the answer…
“Digging into the history of the 7-day week is a very complicated matter. Authorities have very different opinions about the history of the week, and they frequently present their speculations as if they were indisputable facts. The only thing we seem to know for certain about the origin of the 7-day week is that we know nothing for certain.” - found here (http://www.webexhibits.org/calendars/week.html)
In our household, the week means virtually nothing. Any actual difference between our Mondays and our Fridays, a Wednesday or a Saturday melted away long ago during our short stint in the woods in our cabin sans electricity and running water. Life in the cabin infused us with nature.
The roosters woke us whenever they determined that morning had arrived, and the retreat of the sun and diminishing light pulled us together into quiet whispers and giggles at the end of each day. Daily chores and happenings occurred at the will of the woods more than any setting of a clock. When it was snowing, things happened slowly and methodically and later in the day, in general, and when it was hot as hell, we moved even slower and got things done much, much earlier in the day, in general, as well.
Aidan and I carried this way in the world with us when we left the woods and exchanged it for a spot in the desert here in New Mexico. We still aren’t surrounded by much that locates us in time and space and go about our business as we basically feel compelled and driven to do. The rhythm of each day just happens. Which brings me to a discussion of how this plays out in the shop.
As the shop’s new business manager, part of my job has involved discussing with Aidan how things are getting done and how we can keep all of the pieces of the shop’s working together well. I’ve been absolutely amazed to discover the wide variety of moving parts that make up the shop’s operations and how well Aidan’s been managing it all on his own. In fact, I can assure you that it’s quite astonishing.
During some of our initial discussions we stumbled upon a little something-something that’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore — the extent to which the shop is at odds with the modern 7-day week and how much the idea of “a week” challenges the core of Aidan’s natural workflow. The honest truth is that Aidan runs the shop like we ran our life in the woods, and I come to the shop inside the same type of rhythm and flow.
When the spirits and weather and light in the sky say, “Saw!” Aidan spends all day sawing. It doesn’t matter if there are eight other pieces of jewelry on his bench all soldered-up and ready to be polished and finished. If he doesn’t saw on a “Saw Day,” things go terribly wrong. To polish and add the finishing touches to a piece on Saw-day, a day meant for cutting things up, would only spell total d.i.s.a.s.t.e.r. for that piece and runs totally contrary to anything like a Finish-day. It makes way more sense for Aidan to put those eight piece aside until the day the world tells him to polish, so he does.
Similarly, over the past few weeks I’ve been yammering in Aidan’s ear to write this blog post and to let y’all in on our little secret — that our lives flow more with the howling of the coyotes, the pitter-patter of the dogs, and the slithering about of the snakes in our yard than they do with any calendar that might hang on our walls. Then today, just before I made mention of this idea for a blog post to him again, the stars cried to me, “Write!” So I acknowledged that while it was Solder-day for Aidan, it was indeed Write-day for me, and instead of putting his heat and my words into a blog post as a joint project for this afternoon, I decided instead to encourage him back into the shop. It seemed like heat + words = disaster, so I separated our forces for the day and began to write this post.
Now where all of this jibber-jabber becomes relevant to you, our customers, is in regards to how we fashion our communications about when you can expect to have in hand a piece that Aidan’s made. Until recently, we’ve been “calculating” expected ship dates based on a fictional tale that Aidan can plan the pieces he will work, one at a time, scheduled into each day of the week, on a 7-day calendar and that such speculations can be communicated as indisputable facts to you.
You see where I’m going with this?
So we’ve decide that instead of continuing to work along the lines of this fiction, we’re going to do something else that makes way more sense. We've revealed ourselves to all of you and in return we ask for your understanding of our reality, and that you be willing to adapt with us to these circumstances.
This mantra, “adapt to your circumstances,” is one Aidan and I adopted during our time in the woods. We learned pretty quickly that whenever we tried to force our will onto nature, nature pushed back in a really harsh way. So we settled into a surrender strategy instead — a series of self-taught lessons on how to gracefully adapt. Likewise, in the shop, we’re learning how to align our schedules with our delivery promises in ways that are more realistic and reflective of the way we work while avoiding any risk of losing the integrity Aidan’s art form in the process.
This translates into saying to all of you that we so appreciate your support of Aidan’s work. Going forward we want you to know that each piece that Aidan makes is crafted in accordance with the rhythms and patterns that inspire him to create for you. When we tell you when we think you’ll receive your piece, we’re really just giving you our best “guess” for when you might receive it, and we ask that you understand that we may need to shorten or extend the expected date of arrival to insure that Aidan is working with your piece as the environment rightly suits the work.
Just as the only thing we seem to know for certain about the origin of the 7-day week is that we know nothing for certain, Aidan and I really don’t know exactly how each piece is going to come into being. However, as these beauties somehow continue to come to life in the shop, we’re certain that they will.
Thanks for your on-going support of Aidan’s work and all of our whack. We love y’all.