They say write about what you know about…. I use to think I would know about loftier things. In the arrogance of youth you assume your own limitlessness. In aging you settle into the reality of work-a-day obscurity. This past two weeks I have been making cabinets in my workshop. I heat the shop in winter with a wood burning stove. Burning scraps of previous jobs. I spend the days in a solitude of meditative attention to details. Like what fraction of an inch to shave off a face frame, which way should I orient a board to the router bit to minimize tear out and how to best keep my fingers out of saw blades. I am in a place with my work where I know my own skills and competence. I know what I am doing because I have experience to draw from. There is a comfort in this. I take it for granted, but I can remember all the nerves, apprehensions, and insecurities that use to accompany my work. I remember feeling insecure around “real cabinet guys”, or “real trim carpenters.” There is a point at which you confer upon yourself the mantel of craftsman. I imagine it is like this with musicians, or dancers, or artists. You come to a place where you don’t need anyone to validate you anymore. You have put in your hours, learned your lessons, applied your own creative imagination and inventiveness, and accomplished your own objectives; you come to trust yourself. In the moments when you realize this, you realize this is what you are. No matter what you thought you would be in life, or where you thought you would go, this, for whatever reason is what you have become.