the right tool for the job
Posted by vlorbik on January 13, 2013
(yet another all-the-arts-are-one-art post)
all the arts are one art… and here’s
how you do it: “look again. look closer.”
and whenever something goes *wrong*…
well, that’s a real good place to look.
be it a wrong note in a guitar solo,
a line mis-spoken (freud had much to
say on these), a wavering-of-the-line
where “drawing a straight line” was
the goal… in any of these cases
(or hundreds of others), the subject
having once *made* the mistake will then,
if the subject is any kind of *artist*
(with respect to the work-at-hand), seek
to *learn* from the mistake.
some mistakes are so god-awful that one
has no choice *but* to learn something:
the classic “hand on the hot stove” moment.
my most memorable such (as of right now)
was once when i was working in the commons
of the student union as a short-order cook,
and was talking to a fellow worker during a
lull in the action and let the fingers and
thumb of my left hand wander absent-mindedly
into the two slots of a toaster. then i rapidly
*removed* my hand before i even knew i’d
done it and carried on the conversation…
and had not a mark on me. never forgot it,
though. and no artistry involved.
but such *gross* mistakes typically have
only one lesson to teach: how to avoid
doing it again.
mistakes in speech and music and drawing
and whatnot, by contrast, can be *inspired*
mistakes that end up being the basis of, say,
a new *trick*. or even a new *technique*.
look again; look closer.
but, then. on the other hand.
grab your ax and wail your heart out *now*!
the audience doesn’t care how perfect your
doggone *technique* is, they just want to
so one is in the familiar position of a
“deep truth”: a thought whose *opposite*
is also a deep truth (it doesn’t take much
looking-again-closer in the philosophical
arena to encounter this “polarity” phenom-
enonon… humans appear to be paradoxical
*by nature* [or maybe it's by *design*...]).
well. to everything there is a season.
except for when there isn’t.
and now i’ve nearly outranted my breakfast
time… and the glass is empty besides.
so one more paradox… or dichotomy or
polarity or whatever it is… that comes
up frequently for me is “get the right
tool for the job” versus “use the tools
at hand and *get ‘er done*”.
and *when* it comes up, i’m mostly very much
a “tools at hand” kinda guy.
but drinking glasses like the one in the photo…
one of a set my mother gave me over 20 years ago…
are very much the right tool for the job.
almost everyone else’s drinking glasses are
harder to wash. this bad baby right here
you can jam your whole hand in and scrub out
just like a plate or a bowl. also you can
pour twelve ounces of foamy liquid in without
fear of foaming the whole mess over.
madeline’s been coming up with *more* right tools
for the kitchen in recent months and it’s been
a blast. with a big sharp chef knife one can cut
rightly-so-called *chips* from a potato and they
fry up great. and steel pans are way better for
eggs than the spaceage-polymer-coated scratchy-
-finish jobs are. and on and on it goes.
but that’s it for today.