No one will see it you say. No one will see all the effort I put into this work. Why should I do it then? What’s the point of doing work that no one will appreciate, no one will recognize, even if I point it out to them and show them the dexterity of my hand tool work, the brilliance of my hidden design, who will care? Why do it?
The answer is simple. You will see. You will know. It will be you who knows that you did your best work, imperfect as it usually is. You will know. Let go of the desire to be rich, let go of the desire to be famous. Do the work for yourself.
Sonny Rollins, the post bop saxophonist, practiced on the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City for months in the early 1960’s to perfect his sound. He did this without accolade, without compensation certainly. He went out on the bridge to practice because he knew he had to be better. He knew that this practice would make a difference. Who would know? He would know. And now late in his life he can think back with no regrets and say to himself, I did this. I made this happen. I did it for me and it made me who I am this day.
There is no price that can be placed on knowledge. No cash value for satisfaction can be counted out in your hands. You do this work because you have to do it for yourself. Because, as my friend Bogy said to me, you don’t make the work, the work makes you. Practice this and good things will come from it.
Bruce Petersen, Mastery Student, Inlay