Learning (Again) to Go Slow

Yesterday I received a whole shipment of exotic wood blanks. I was so excited to get up this morning and turn a thuya burl blank on my lathe and make a pen. I love the cinnamon color of the thuya wood – it is exquisite.

In my excitement, I cut the blank into two pieces, drilled a 10 millimeter hole in the center of each one, glued in the brass tubes, trimmed them and sanded the ends. I then put them on the mandrel on the lathe, ready to watch the sawdust fly, only to realize I had cut each one of them too short and then sanded them even shorter. I had to throw the blanks away.

Sometimes, in my excitement to get something beautiful done, I can ruin the beauty. I forget that the joy comes from the process, the slowness, of working with wood (or people). Thankfully, after realizing I had ruined a beautiful piece of wood, I had enough sense to simply throw the material away, turn off the lights in the garage and be done for the day. Rather than push on and try again with another blank, I decided to honor the failure and not rush forward with another piece of wood. (I ordered three thuya burl blanks so maybe I will be able to get one of them to become a pen.)

This morning I learned again – go slow and enjoy the process not just the finished product.

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