My dad, aluminum, and motorcycle building.
I am pretty sure that working with my hands is a gift I inherited from my dad. All of that time fetching a wrench or a hammer or sitting quietly and trying not to make noise when he was super frustrated with the project at hand clearly rubbed off on me. I still reflect on those moments these days when I text him a photo of something I am working on. I learned to tig weld in college and then I went into advertising and never used the skills. Not really a need for a welder when kerning type or laying out ads. But my abilities and thirst for learning more have always been in the back of my mind.
I talk a lot about stretching beyond your current abilities as a crucial part of personal growth. In my mind it feels like having a knotted-up muscle suddenly relax. Then, like a rod across the back of the meditative disciple, wham! New level reached. A tiny little piece of mechanical enlightenment that makes the challenge a little easier. Lately around the shop I have been working hard to meet a self imposed deadline to finish the next Other Life Cycles build. I am in the home stretch on it and have been re-learning what I know about using a tig welder while learning how to form and weld aluminum. Lots of opportunities for growth and reflection. When the inevitable “wham!” hit me, it came with an extra little piece of awesome. I remembered that all that time working with my dad didn’t just teach me how to do. It also taught me how to think about how to do, and I had forgotten that.
I chuckled to myself for a minute as I thought about my dad and my brain. Then I went back to welding the “stupid effing aluminum tail section for this motorcycle,” humbled by the thought of how I would avoid some of my mistakes when I build the cowl for the radiator next.