Tuesday, December 03, 2019


What are needed for restoration work are steady hands, a sharp eye, keen judgement, spatial intelligence, an ability to focus, and a firm grasp of the desired result. My friend Steve in Canada, due to a stroke, lacked the first one mentioned for a while, but has in the years since recovered that, and become better than ever. His work is phenomenal.
I have no idea what his day to day job is.
But he restores pipes.

Seeing as on a regular basis I do the same, in addition to cleaning old briars up, for the people whose smoking habits are less than perfect, I am somewhat in a position to judge his work. And I am full of admiration. That degree of skill, patience, and attention to detail is something I wish I had.

Obviously to someone who is not into that, everything is nearly invisible. If you are passionate about briar smoking equipment and have that eye, you already know his work, you've visited his blog, and you've marveled.
If not, alerting you to it would be a waste of time.
Quite likely you'd just not get it.

The point of this post is not that he is a priceless resource and a master of this field, but that through stubborness, sheer determination, and will power he transcended a limitation and rendered it moot.

That "sharp eye" is a key thing. Quite often I am left wondering about other people "do they just not SEE that?"

Minor details that stick out like a sore thumb. Little fussy things. Tiny glaring irritating things. The details that eat at you until you quiver with frustration. There's an element of psychosis in this, which, if encouraged, leads to more involved living. More acute awareness. Sometimes also more boring conversations, admittedly, but I keenly appreciate the people who have it, and despair at times over the people that don't.

Although I often wish that everyone developed that focus, I am actually rather glad that they don't. Getting through life when things have to be done fast, and sometimes somewhat slapdash (think of your own job, and indeed your personal life), it is best to not fret over ALL the details ALL the time. What you need in addition to focus are perspective and tunnel vision.
Those allow me to do good work, but not great work.
The pipe smokers are more than satisfied.
I know more could have been done.
That would've taken longer.
And been invisible.

Attentiveness, perspective, tunnel vision.
A steady hand, sharp eye, judgment.
Plus just enough caffeine.

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