Being Worthy of My Tools

It has been snowing for the last two days, and has finally let up.

This morning I shoveled the sidewalk, and stood in the absolute predawn silence, watching my breath as I exhaled. It was the kind of silence a cathedral tries to inspire. Pure, crisp and cold. The first hints of dawn beginning behind the house. Alone, unconcerned, and at peace. A rare moment these days.

I knocked the snow off my boots and set them to dry inside the door, hung my field jacket, got my second cup of coffee of the day, and went back to my office, grateful for the comfortable warmth.

Today I am especially appreciative of the tactile sensations of what I use to create.

There are so many perfect things I get to experience when I do what I love.

The smell of the leather roll as I open it to take out a fountain pen.

The particular satisfying skritch of the nib of my Lamy on the paper of one of the many Leuchtturm journals I am filling.

The perfect bounce of the X1 Yoga’s keyboard as I research. Thinkpad has made more than their share of design flaws, but they have nearly always gotten the feel of their keyboards right.

The sensation of winding on the next frame on a film camera. They each feel different, to be sure, but are all great in their own way. The purposeful feeling of my F series Nikons. The now smooth slide of my Medalist after its CLA. The snappiness of the Bessaflex. The walnut grinding sensation of my Kiev 88CM. And of course the smooth precision of my Leica, as good as the sound of its shutter.

Most of these things accompany me to and from work every day, and I fiddle with the contents of my bags seeking the elusive perfect configuration. But when I get to spread out and use them at home I like it best.

Especially on slow moving days like these, I aspire to be a craftsman worthy of his tools.

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