Wood Turning Lesson 2

Wood turning lathe set up for work

I went to Roger’s on Friday for another wood turning lesson.

This really should be moving at a faster clip—when two artists/makers are together to transfer information, learning is typically faster. Because if you have a practice and you understand process, you just need to assimilate the new information and things typically slip right into place. More or less.

But we probably spend more time talking than working when we’re together—so it’s just going to take longer to get the hang of things and finish even a modest piece.

Which is fine. Because we talked about a lot of interesting things.

Like relationships (and why we’re attracted to who we’re attracted to), my vehement dislike of narrative jewelry, some of his motorcycle trips of yore, and regret—mine specifically, over lost time and lost life with a lost person. . .

. . .And regret is what I thought about during the slow drive back to Seattle.

The first time I really noted it, I was having dinner at a friend’s in Iowa. He was in his 50s, and talking openly of his regrets, the kind that stack up over the years. It’s strange how personal and specific, yet how universal regret is. It was easy to pay attention because I was too young and too blank to have accumulated any of my own. So I listened to him talk while I studied his face, which seemed to me where the real information was—the information we haven’t yet figured out how to sculpt into narrative, or maybe we don’t even realize is there, and that often conveys more meaning than words.

And I remember thinking, This should be avoided if possible. And then thinking how unlikely this would be. And then wondering, for a moment, what I was going to come to regret in my life.

And now I know.

Though as Roger (and everyone else here that I know and love) has pointed out, were it not for that relationship, I would not know the people I know today. Which means I wouldn’t have been hanging out in his shop on Friday, half working/half talking. Everything is as it should be.