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On Trying Something New

Hand carved wooden spoon and carving tools

“How long have you been knitting?”, people frequently ask. Oh, forever. My grandmother taught me when I was nine, I truly became obsessed when I was 19, and it’s been 10 years since that.  I knit on public transit, I knit while reading, I knit on the sofa while watching movies (to the surprise of new friends!). For the most part, it isn’t that much of a challenge, but it’s always a joy.

One of the big themes in my life lately has been fear of failure. I’ve recently finished a book that finally made it clear: most of my decisions have been based on the fear of failing, the fear of getting hurt, the fear of not being good at something. When you think about it, it’s crushing. What else could I have done, what else could I be enjoying, what person would I be if I’d given myself a little bit more leeway to fail?

Well. It’s one thing to realise it,  and another to change it. When a spot suddenly opened up in Alichia‘s spoon-carving class, I had to try. I hadn’t touched a power tool since middle school. My mother was always fixing things up, but that was her domain. My inner voice insisted that I’d be terrible — not that I would hate it, but that I wouldn’t be good.

Too bad. I’d already paid for the spot. I was doing this.

The workshop was yesterday, and I had the best time. I’m pretty sure I’m grinning like an idiot in every picture that was taken in the workshop: using all of my upper-body strength to scrape out a bowl in a chunk of cherry wood, using a bandsaw (!!), chiseling away at the handle, and spending hours sanding and polishing and re-sanding and re-polishing.

For what? For a kitchen implement that I could have bought at IKEA for fifty cents? Maybe, yeah. And it is crooked, and I could have spent another while sanding the bowl down. But I tried something I wasn’t good at. That’s a good enough start for me.

1 Comment so far

  1. I love your spoon! I have carved one spoon in my life time too. It wasn’t as good as yours but I liked it a lot because I made it. Something happened to it and I no longer have it but I still regularly use wooden spoons that my boys made for me. They aren’t perfect either but they work and I really love that they are hand-made by my family.

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