Is there something morally pure or preferable about a painful intricate construction, rather than the brisk, functional way most people toss off a task?
Is there a beauty in seriousness?
It would appear it is something that I can’t fail to be touched by. A shorthand lesson plan on how I wish to live.
When there is no compromise with expediency, no taking for granted of power structures, nothing but rigorous honesty and tireless interrogation; there is some feeling or hope that if I could put every single thing under the sun into this moment I could head off sorrow, frustration, resentment, missed communication, and thwarted ambition.
It is way easier of course to walk past, to not examine, to not take apart: There is a social use in seeing an ambulance rushing by without imagining who is inside it, in buying a quart of milk without thinking too deeply about the guy behind the counter, or how the cow was treated. The fish who is thinking obsessively “What is water?” is, no doubt, a little less likely to swim very far.
Still, every time I tinker with some aspect of my life working toward it being, acceptable, professional, workable, move-on-able, I think “Maybe I’ll do it a little better this time.”
And I’ve come to realize that it is that which I cherish in people, companies, workshops, and craft. Making it a priority that the every day approach is “How can I do this better this time?” and is a fundamental path. The warp and weft of process. The chance to make the work, the hour, the day sacred in some truest sense, because through that improvement, we succeed at seizing the moment.