So, trolling the web I saw this photo. “Hmm… unusual ” you may think… “interesting shaped pieces….gnarly hand….”
To me, the recognition was instantaneous because it’s unmistakably the hand of someone very special in my life, that of my former boss with whom I worked alongside for years. Together, we sawed, clamped, sprayed, installed and burned much midnight oil. This is the weathered hand of someone incredibly gifted, mechanically brilliant, strong and yet patient enough to stop and share his knowledge (and sometimes frustration) with me. As I grew older, near the end of our time together, we collectively discovered my skill sets while building our in-depth understanding of CAD, CNC and the developing technologies, often-times into the wee hours.
I could never thank this former boss for his time, patience and (yes even) friendship. He just wouldn’t have it. Perhaps this was because words are just too hollow and that a life chosen because of our love for woodworking requires sacrifice, a pursuit of something deeply personal which seems to transcend dialogue.
Anyway whatever your profession, perhaps you too were fortunate to have a boss so generous with both his/her time and confidence in your abilities. You are a product of his/her good deeds. Please, remember them and share your time liberally with that next eager apprentice. No doubt, it may not be easy and some days won’t be stunning, but with patience, the rewards will eventually exceed the risks. In his words, I can still hear him say “Ruf, no guts, no glory…”.