Saturday, October 9, 2010

"The eye of the master......."

"The eye of the master will do more work than both his (or her) hands." I guess being a printer I find it very easy to both appreciate and relate to the saying of Benjamin Franklin. I remember seeing this saying years ago on the front of a graphics art instruction manual and thinking that it was a rather profound saying. After taking this picture of Susie spinning at the shop yesterday, I thought of it again and pondered the relevance it had in our lives.

While I understand the thought and meaning behind the quote, I both agree and disagree with it on several levels. First, I agree that while many people can do many different things....not just in spinning or printing....its the person that has "mastered" their craft or trade that uses not only the hands but the eyes as well. This sort of person has the ability to "see" what their doing and be able to change or adjust along the way to produce something that transcends what is normal or acceptable. This is what sets something apart and above the rest. This is the difference between an "heirloom" and a "throw away" piece....again, be it a shawl or the printed word.

While I say that I disagree with the quote, maybe it would be more accurate to say that in many instances, I'm disappointed with the outcome of what I do. There are many, many times that while I can "visualize" what I WANT to do, my hands have yet to MASTER the ability to fulfill what my EYES can see! I find this very frustrating at times. At other times I find it more to be a challenge. I know that years ago when I learned to make oval Shaker boxes, I had read and studied the process for close to 15 years BEFORE I actually made my first one, and while the first attempt was not perfect, it was sure a lot better than had I not been able to "see" the box made and understand the steps involved.

How does this then relate to our lives? I think I find it to be a word of challenge and encouragement to always strive to master what we are about. I know that it probably means little or nothing to those around us but Susie and I both want to make sure that we hear those words, "Well Done!" when we finish here on earth!

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