Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and it put me in the mood to do a little early Spring cleaning in the shop. Scattered around were these reminders of the “workmanship of risk.” That was, of course, the phrase coined by David Pye to describe how a guy like me can ruin the job at any moment. Look upon this pile; here lies the grisly proof of the workmanship of risk.
Errors in judgement, lack of patience, failure to assess the wood, or simply a bad swing have led these pieces to be tucked away in dark corners of the shop like repressed memories. They only survive, I guess, because I shoved them away hastily to get them out of my sight. Perhaps I should take a cue from Eric Goodson’s great post today (perfect timing, Eric) and creatively rescue one or two. Regardless, it’s alright. There is more wood and the workmanship of risk has its rewards.
I have gotten better at taking these things in stride, and my theatrics at the moment of dread are slightly less animated. I have learned a little from experience. I remember how disheartened I’d get when I struck out in Little League. Then I’d be up to bat hoping not to strike out instead of focusing on getting a hit. And that’s no way to bat.
Embrace the workmanship of risk. In all of the history of Major League Baseball, the man who went up to the plate and struck out more times than any other….was Reggie Jackson. Whether it’s a bat or an adze — keep swinging.