This is the time of year when I always seem to struggle to overcome a lack of momentum. It feels like winter is a hole I stumble into each year. Not enough gets done, or the wrong stuff gets done, or I can’t seem to tell the difference. Often the days just don’t feel productive. It’s not that I’m inactive, it’s just that most days I end up doing something besides the job I got out of bed to tackle.
This blog page was started as a way to share the projects I’m working on and hopefully to generate interest in my work, so I can work. I design and make stuff, I work in wood and I teach. I like doing these things and that’s what drives me. I don’t have much of a knack for self-promotion but I do want to share and I do need the clarity that writing brings. I have been posting a bunch on Instagram but I believe it’s time to start back with this blog page; sharing information about the projects I am working on, or the ones I am dreaming about.
I make it a point to spend time outside each Sunday. Here’s a frozen brook in the woods behind the house.
This time of year finding balance in life can sometimes be a bit elusive. Winter is slowly yielding to, lets call it late winter, and I’m starting to feel the welcome push of energy that spring will bring. I come out of each summer and into the fall pretty much worn down from the pace of traveling and teaching, I need to slow down for a bit, to take time to catch up with deferred projects, and I need time to rest. The trick is to do this without loosing all my momentum. I’ll admit I’m not that great at it.
After the pace of summer, deep winter can feel very restful. The shorter and quieter days encourage a thoughtfulness that the long days of summer don’t seem to warrant. Summer is about movement, going, doing, and experiencing as much as the days will allow. The cold of winter, with time each day next to the fires that warms the house and shop, is better for grabbing hold of a thought and following it right to the very end.
This summer came in slow and it’s still behind schedule. The end of August brought our hottest days, the kind we usually get in July, if they happen at all. My guess is, or rather my hope is, that we are about to settle into a long slow slide into an even longer fall. Winter, when it comes will have plenty of time to push us around. Lets not rush things.
It’s a rainy day and I’m breaking my rule and working in the shop and at my desk. “If you work Sunday’s then Mondays just another damn day”. That’s the rule, but, Saturday was beautiful, cool and sunny so I spent the day working in the garden and bike riding. When you work for yourself you have the option of sometimes flipping the days around to fit the weather.
I’m not sure where the last month went? I did spend a few of the coldest days in hibernation, sitting close to the stove and pretty much doing nothing but I’ve also been out in the shop, probably not enough but I’ve been out there. I’ve also been slowly working away at office tasks. The website is getting some needed updates and both digital and paper files are undergoing a much needed sorting. And, I’ve dealt with snow. Lots of snow! Maybe that’s where the time went?
It was well below zero this morning when I got up. In the shop, despite the best efforts of my heater it was right at 38 degrees. The fire’s roaring in the stove now and I’ll bet by 9 it’s toasty out there. What a wonderful mix of bright or snowy, always frosty days we’re enjoying. I like the feel of 2015 already. The summer teaching season is shaping up nicely with eleven classes lined up and several more in the works. Shop work is booked for the winter as well. I’ve finished the batch of designs I was working on and replaced them with several new projects. I don’t think I ever really want to get caught up though. Shop projects start in the evenings with a glass of port, a warm fire and time at the drawing board.
These last few months I’ve moved way out of my comfort zone on several fronts. It’s good to stretch, to push the boundaries of what you know and what you’re good at. If you build on a solid skill set it’s a good way to grow and learn.