This idea has been doing the rounds in my head for a while now; but it’s not fully formed. Hey, that’s never stopped me from posting about anything now.
I value good craftsmanship in stuff I have. You know, I like things to display someone’s skill, someone’s ability, someone’s accomplishments. I like things to show someone’s dedication to the work they’re doing; they should show someone who’s striving to attain mastery at something. Ya, I can always dream…
I like well-made things. I don’t like things that are mediocre; but I can only afford mediocre things at present. There’s no harm in wishing to have more; but I’m worried that people don’t put value on quality at present.
We’re all consumerists here; and while being as shallow anyone, I still get disturbed at the disposable nature of reality we have all around us. You don’t repair things; you just throw them away and buy new stuff — makes more sense and is cheaper on your wallet. I’m bound to be miserable: I want everything there is and I want it to be of value as well.
I personally am not a craftsman; I can’t do anything except code a little. I’m mediocre at that too — the only things I have the patience for is quick hacks that are never elegant. And I don’t build things; I use what I can scavenge.
Right now, I’m not earning but I spend. And the only thing I spend money on at present is books. As soon as I start earning this’ll change; I’ll buy all sorts of stuff. And I’m learning to sport good craftsmanship among the books I buy; I’ve begun to notice books that have good cover design, good typography and a good quality of paper; books that I love at first sight. No doubt I’ll do the same for everything else I start spending on as well.
Don’t take me wrong — I’m not talking about cost at all. The thing I most value among my possessions at present is something I got for only twenty bucks.
I’m talking about stuff that’s good at what it’s meant for. Things you use for years and years and develop an attachment with. My current book is Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; charming really if you ignore the meta-physical ramblings that are scattered in between. It seems to be pretty much about what I’m saying right now; check out this quote:
I talked yesterday about caring, I care about these moldy old riding gloves. I smile at them flying through the breeze beside me because they have been there for so many years and are so old and so tired and so rotten there is something kind of humorous about them. They have become filled with oil and sweat and dirt and spattered bugs and now when I set them down flat on a table, even when they are not cold, they won’t stay flat. They’ve got a memory of their own. They cost only three dollars and have been restitched so many times it is getting impossible to repair them, yet I take a lot of time and pains to do it anyway because I can’t imagine any new pair taking their place. That is impractical, but practicality isn’t the whole thing with gloves or with anything else.
That’s what I mean by being attached to some thing — and you can only care for stuff that’s good to begin with.