Posted by on 2011/01/05

I figured the best way to start blogging this year would be to share a video of someone masterfully ironing a men’s dress shirt. No tricks, no advanced technology; just focus, dedication and style.

There is something magical about watching someone very, very skilled at what they do, do what they do so well, even if it something as innocuous as a person pressing his gentlemanly garments. It reminds me that when art and creativity permeate to the very molecular level of our daily life – when the stroke of the proverbial paint brush can be seen and heard in every moment – then and only then we are operating at the highest good for ourselves and those around us.

So this year, every year, day, hour and second may your endeavors be dedicated to bringing art and creativity into your every movement and moment – no matter how mundane a task you think yours might be.

Posted in: Blog

Comments

  1. Shane Berry
    2011/01/13

    Thank you for the introduction to David Whyte Mr Droid, I have been reading some of his work online. The text of his you quoted is spot on. As you well know Japan is exemplary of this notion of work and dedication to perfection.

  2. Rhythm Droid
    2011/01/07

    I am so inspired by this post, Shane. It really is pure and wise. One has to pursue their deep calling with a mindfulness that leads to excellence. There was a wonderful book I was reading by poet/teacher David Whyte. If I may draw a comparison…
    A dry stone wall is built without mortar. It settles and gives with the weather and the seasons, and may stand for centuries, long after bricks and cement have crumbled. This art of walling is ancient – the Lion Gate of Mycenae is dry stone and there are remains of dry stone walls 4,000 years old in Ireland- and you can see its products all over Europe and New England. There aren’t many full-stone dry wallers left, but Steven Allen, a Yorkshireman, is determined to keep the art alive. He’s been fitting stones together since his teens, often seven days a week, and holds the title of the world’s champion dry stone waller.

    Michale Finkel watched him compete with other dry stone wallers on the Yorkshire moors, and in a wonderful article for The Atlantic (“Someone there is who loves a wall”, May, 2000) Finkel noted what seemed to give Allen the edge over the competition. While others got themselves into a lather of sweat, willing themselves to win, Allen seemed to work with a sense of emerging pattern.

    He’d stand stock-still for a moment and stare at his wall with a calculating look on his face. Then he would swiftly turn around and bend down and select a stone. He’d twist it and jiggle it and flip it over and back, as if fiddling with prayer beads. Then he’d pick up his hammer, hold the stone to his thigh, and chip off pieces with a few sharp taps.

    A quality that set Allen apart from wallers, Finkel noticed, was “his feel for the hidden seems snaking along the rock.” When he hammered a rock, “it invariably fractured along a plane as smooth as a sail.” When he picked a stone to fill the gap between others, the chosen rock “would literally click into place, wedged between its neighbors as tightly and neatly as if Allen were building with Lego bricks.”

    In Crossing the Unknown Sea David Whyte seizes on this, correctly and elegantly, as an exemplary case of how good work gets done. The key is “a felt perception of the larger pattern” combined with “a restful yet attentive presence in the midst of our work” and the ability to draw on “some source of energy other than our constant applications of effort and will.” “If we attempt to engage the will continually, it exhausts us and prevents us from creating something with a pattern that endures.”

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