This was a very repetitious phase of the project (100+ grooves, all with the same setting), but I still managed to stop for a moment to be mindful, to appreciate the fact that I'm incredibly lucky, that this is fun, and that those shavings and the act of making them are beautiful.
I could have a physical or mental handicap preventing me from being able to craft things with my own two hands. I know people who do.
There may come a day when I won't be able to do this anymore because of an inexplicable tremor in my hands. I know someone who is on the verge of having to give up woodworking for this reason.
I could be suffering from depression or anxiety or some other debilitating disease that takes all of my focus away. I know people who do.
I could have been hit by a car by now and buried, unable to fulfill any life dreams. I know people who have been.
I might never have been born.
I could be working for minimum wage or not working at all and not be able to afford tools and the little space that I have for this hobby, let alone any hobby. I see him every day on my drive in to work.
He walks all the way up the road, every day, in the same direction I'm headed. And when I get out of work, he's walking down the road, in the same direction I'm headed. I finally pulled over and offered him a ride once. He shook his head and said he was looking for a job and waved me away. I don't think he heard me, or maybe he didn't realize just how often we pass each other.
I still see him. He rides a bicycle in the warmer months, but it's a big hill.
I've been thinking a lot about just how different my life has been than people who struggle and suffer. The series of opportunities in my life have created the possibilities of my current existence. Some people never get those initial opportunities. Some people just need a break.
My entire focus, by necessity, could be on finding my next meal. Yet I have at least 4 cakes*.
I read this. Twice. (*Concerning Cake, Bilbo Baggins and Charity)
I read this. (something the Dalai Lama said)
I read this. Three times. (something Richard Dawkins said)
I have all of this ability and fortune and knowledge and awareness.
I feel like I should start sharing some cake.
My wife and I just bought a goat (or a sheep).
If anyone actually reads this blog, please consider heading on over to the Worldbuilders Team page on Heifer International and chipping in to help out hungry people around the world. Geeks from all walks of life are banding together and have collectively raised $670,369.24 so far.
Hat tip to Patrick Rothfuss. Thank you for doing what you do in the way that you do it. This goat's on us.