I'm in Kyoto for 3 weeks, to learn kintsugi - the traditional Japanese craft of repairing broken pottery with gold. Took my first lesson today - it was a half-day, beginner-friendly introductory class. I had to scrap, clean, glue, polish the broken pieces of pottery using tools that required almost surgical precision. It brought a level of intricacy that I relished. And it's been so long since doing something with my hands had enraptured my attention so deliciously.
Gosh, how I miss working with my hands.
If you're regularly writing on or reading the 200 words a day site, my bet is that you're likely a knowledge worker and you face the computer screen most of your work day. When was the last time you used your hands for highly dextrous work at the office? Or not even at the office, but anytime outside? I don't know about you but darn I sure miss using my hands for that kind of work. Our modern conveniences had sure made our artful dexterity increasingly obsolete, especially since the time we removed the need to hold a pen to write after the keyboard emerged. Sure, we still need hands for pushing buttons, swiping screens and all, but that's hardly needing much of the level of nimble dexterity that our hands were born for.
What a shame.
Well...for me, at least.
There's something magical and satisfying about being about to see, touch, feel, smell when working analogue, and being able to effect small but real changes in realtime in the real world using your hands. That feedback loop of the senses that comes directly from working with your hands, is something that's lost whenever I work on the computer. On the computer, everything feels at least one degree separated, or more. The feedback feels more distant, even if it's immediate. After all, I can't physically see, touch or smell my code, can I?*
Oh, how I miss working with my hands!
How do I make work that's increasingly digital-only, to feel more like how analogue makes us satisfied?
* Maybe this is an interesting idea to explore for another day, something about code craftsmanship and the experience of it that can be redesigned (#notetoself).