For much of the time I have been writing these short essays, I have focused on the serendipity which seems to me to be inherent in our lives. The unexpected, the accidental happen to us all the time, and more so working with something like wood. Still, there is a whole other side of my work that centers on discipline. I am trying to control processes using my definition of my goals. In order to accomplish this, I harness my skills, sense of order, patience, and general resources.
My definition of my goals comes in general from rising every morning and answering the bell. I am at a loss as to how to define where I am going without involvement and interest in my own life. My particular challenges and personality create a path that I must follow. It is my life, not someone else’s which I am watching on T.V.
My particular skill set comes from this path. For instance, I long ago decided to use machinery in my furniture building. I felt that it accorded with my own sense of myself, and it made me more affordable in the marketplace. Occasionally, I have to do hand work, but I limit it to the smallest amount I can. It’s also not that I envision some kind of hierarchy between being able to work wood by hand or with machinery. Each has its own challenges.
My sense of order comes from each day being filled with as much contemplation and activity as I can squeeze into it. I have adopted a modified version of Saint Benedict’s order. He set out a daily regimen that included prayer, study, eating, sleeping, and work. I try to include some of all these things in my day. Over the years, a kind of loop has developed which feeds on itself and brings a kind of enrichment. It is through this daily order that I develop the processes which help me create my furniture.
My patience gives me the room I need to stay on course. When I abandon it, I miss the indicators that realize themselves and usually end up having to repeat everything. I certainly lose my discipline. My general resources again are in a loop. The disciplined process brings them, furthering the process.
These things help me to hold on.