Some people have children to gloat over. I have little files. Mine come brand new and with no life experience. Same as most children. I take digital pictures of my files just as a parent would photograph his kids.
My files live on the bench. In small groups. The groups are segregated by when the files arrived. I replace my stash every 3-4 months. We’re talking these small guys. Not the longer more aggressive files.
I love my small files the way a father would his child. I baby these. Obsess over them. Very soon I’m unable to tell one from another, and the barrettes get tossed with the flats and these in turn fall next to the round ones.
When enough time passes and the commissions start running into each other, so too do my files. I try to keep the current batch separate from those they replace. But when I replace them. I don’t toss them away. They’re family.
When the new and the old somehow commingle, even if it happens against my better judgement, I know that it’s time. But time for what? Generations of small files all in a single pile. Many still alive and begging me to use them.
Edge is a funny thing. At the front end we all have one. What does it mean when things become dull or soft? Is it better to find that sharpness elsewhere? Or do we hit the reset button and try to recapture what once was?
Everything has an expiration date. A shelf life. When something’s brand new it reeks of hope and potential. My little files do. And then one day it’s clear – crystal clear – that something has gone missing and it’s time for whatever’s next.
All This By Hand