|Finger jointed boxes|
The immediate lessons are these:
- Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn and how we react to mistakes is the shakeout point, determining who will advance in skill and contribution. The secret is to react favorably to our mistakes. Avoid self-recrimination as it is what slows the process of growth.
- Woodworking is not easy. It is easier for some than for others for a variety of reasons, but whether or not your soul and heart are in it for the long run, has mainly to do with whether or not you embrace the difficulties of it. Greg made one bench, then another which he thought he had screwed up, then another which expressed greater skill. The willingness to face difficulties with renewed spirit is essential to advancement.
- You can buy your way into interesting woodworking, by purchasing tools that can do interesting things for you, even without skill, but truly, as they say in Zen, "Poverty is your greatest treasure. Never trade it for an easy life." When it comes to tools, particularly new tools, that have distinctive effect, you can rest assured that those with money will buy them and thence do work with them that too closely resembles all the work done by those who buy the same tools. Doing without all the tools you think you might need builds a stronger relationship with the tools you have, calling forth greater personal creativity to emerge from your relationship with them.
- There is a fourth lesson which has to do with childlike wonder and the spirit of forgiveness. By taking pleasure in the moment: the smooth shaving from the plane, the scent of wood arising from the saw, the motions of our own bodies as we shape wood, we have the capacity of entering the kingdom of heaven, finding great pleasure in our work that others will discover and take note.
Make, fix and create...