Repaying The Debt

by | Nov 16, 2016

Next week I’ll walk through the green door and stand at a bench. My callouses are gone. My muscle memory has forgotten things. The hand-files, cutters, and steel components packed away five months ago will wear name tags. I’ll need to reacquaint myself with the process dance too. It has been a while, hasn’t it.

My torch has been cold since May. I last finished a commission in June. And I’ve thoroughly loved the sabbatical. But it’s time to hold my tools and attempt to tame the materials. I haven’t had this much time off since I first stamped serial numbers into a bottom bracket shell. Since Gerald Ford was our President.

I hope my motivation comes back swiftly and fully. It would be great if the flow returns and making a bicycle continues to be organic rather than mechanical. My craft is more an act of creation than a task of plug and play. It’s never been a job. I hope it doesn’t become one.

My new space is a dream come true. A jewel box. Another chance to get it right. My sixth studio in some four plus decades of work. It was designed with words like sanctuary, operating room, and private club for one in mind. Another chance to get it right.

Watching this structure go up, one fantasy emerged, it’s that nothing should seem familiar. After forty five years in the trade, a sense develops. A confidence. An arrogance. Please, let all of these have been lost over spring and summer. I’d like to question and second-guess myself. I want nothing else, nothing more, than to feel new. I want to wonder again.

Very soon I’ll walk through the green door and start over. I’m going in with a clear mind and good attitude. No expectations. I just want it to be like the first time rather than the last.