Ink and solvent transfer drawing
Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential – as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.
To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.
—Bill Wattersons, creator of Calvin and Hobbes
In this documentary short, Shaped on all Six Sides by Kat Gardiner, Andy Stewart shares his philosophies about his relationship with and respect for the craft of wooden boat carpentry. This quote on quality and his place in the work stood out:
A lot of the allure of working on wooden boats, actually, is because the sea is the final arbitrator of the quality of your work. It’s very gratifying to see repairs that I’ve done 30 years ago still holding up, and so I feel like I’m part of a long continuum of craftsman keeping vessels around and alive.
It reminded me of the NYTimes article, The Stories That Bind Us, which lays out the benefits of children knowing their family history. Sharing traditions and values through storytelling can help to develop an “intergenerational self,” an understanding of their part in a family narrative that is built with both successes and difficult challenges. A good read…