(Pic of my shop. Can you find the dog?)
My shop is a mess right now, but on Saturday (at the end of the day), I looked around and liked what I saw; I turned out the lights and left it that way. Sometimes a mess is just what we need. It reminds us that we’ve worked; that we’ve done something and people need that: we need work.
There were the maple slabs on the bench that I had planed and jointed. There were the shavings from the jack plane and the tools laying about; the newly stained drawers on the sanding bench and the stack of smaller drawers on the shaper in the corner. There were the 24″ cherry slabs on the lumber stack and the tractor sat in its place dusty from use.
The pile of slate tile and the tools that go with such things next to the beer fridge in the corner. The newly installed mud sink was, well, muddy. The commanding 24″ sander with the stack of newly built cabinet doors on it waiting to be sanded; it waiting to work. Even the machinery needs to work.
The two table saws in the center of the shop were covered with cabinet door pieces waiting to be built with the cut pieces from the lumber from the stacks. The mess is coherent: the mess is meaningful. The sawdust and shavings wafting the smell of newly cut wood; the wood stove wafting the smell of warmth from the scraps that were burning in it.
As I turned to walk inside Saturday I turned for one last look knowing that the mess I now saw would just be a mess on Monday and nothing more. Turning off the light and grabbing a beer for the evening I felt like I’d done something and people need that: we need to work.