Jack of Many Trades

On Getting Lost

Originally posted: 2012-04-22

[caption id="attachment_1892" align="alignright" width="300" caption="forged spiral pendant"][/caption]

It's amazingly easy to get lost when you're not paying attention. The last few months, when I was struggling to find a job I actually wanted, I felt like I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I felt like everything I had once enjoyed was meaningless. And a lot of that was the depression talking, but even when the depression started to lift, the feeling persisted: I had no idea what I wanted out of life.

Part of the feeling was plain envy. Amber has her fiber arts. She knits, and spins, and weaves, and produces these amazing socks that I have the good fortune to wear, and basically she has this thing that makes her happy and she enjoys doing and that she has a reasonable chance of turning into at least a side business. I do my best to encourage her in this, talking to her about projects, encouraging her to take classes or pick up new skills, making sure that we can always squeeze a specific needle size or skein of yarn out of the budget.

I've been angsting about how I don't really have any idea what I want to do, but Friday night I was browsing a catalog of classes from one of the local colleges and mentioned how I miss taking welding scupture. Then today I was at a large "garage" sale with a lot of vendors and I found myself pawing through the old tools. I tried to tell myself I didn't need to buy anything because I didn't have any use for it right now.

I've been saying that to myself for months about various metalwork related things, but today I listened to myself think it and I decided, no. Fuck that. I may not have a yard or a personal forge, but I didn't have those in Phoenix, either. That doesn't mean I can't do anything. And in fact, Amber was the one who told me that. She wants to support me the way I support her. And it's hard for me to accept that, on some level - that I might be worth that kind of investment. But she's insisting.

So today I was fondling all these tools, and I found a file in good shape, with a solid handle and a ridiculously low price tag. I bought it. And on the way home I realized the real reason I didn't feel like I had anyplace to put it.

Somehow, when we moved in here, I never set up a proper altar space for Ilmarinen. I hung his stars over the initial altar I set up, but I never unpacked any of my hammers or working gear because I didn't have immediate plans to use it. Which is perfectly reasonable at first glance, but...

I learned more from working with him for six months than I did in years. I owe him. And particularly if I want to have the opportunities to pursue this in my life, I need to remember him. I've reorganized almost all the altars lately; I have space to give him his own again.

For the first time in months, I opened the bin that holds my metalwork supplies - everything from the soldering iron to the welding mask to my hammers and tongs. I pulled out my biggest hammer, and the knife that burned me, and a feature I cut out with the plasma cutter. I laid them out on an empty space on the shelves. It's not the fanciest altar, and I've no doubt I'll re-do it shortly. But there's a space for him, and that represents my re-dedication to making space for him in my life.

It's amazingly easy to forget things and not realize you ever lost them.