I am routinely confounded by the process. The lack of confidence or the deeply rooted feeling that, since I am self-taught, something is missing – this is an emotion that envelopes every working day I have and every frame I build. Because of this simple fact that I am never completely content with what passes as a finished bicycle, I continue to come in every Monday to see if I can redeem myself for all my past gaffes, miscues, and blunders. It sounds so drama queen-esque typing out these words, but this is how I feel. If it ever changes, maybe the word “retire” can be used in a sentence. For now, I have many years worth of work in which to see if I can possibly get it nailed.I find these words of incredible value to myself as a basically self-taught bicycle mechanic, who routinely finds himself confounded by the technology presented to him (see, for instance, my last post). I take comfort in the fact that being confounded by the technology, by the process, is not antithetical to a skillful practice, a practice that can develop and grow over decades. Indeed it, it might be a key part of such a practice.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Richard Sachs on Being Confounded
I've said that I never want to be the type of blogger that just re-posts what other people produce, but I felt moved today by a short post on Richard Sach's blog. He's been posting short passages from older writings recently, and in general he's always had fascinating things to say about the life of being a framebuilder. This is a part of an answer he gave to an interview question in 2010 (so, after close to four decades of framebuilding) regarding how long he expected to keep working.