The things we make
I believe that, as humans, we are unique from most species in that we are driven to make things for aesthetic alone. We don’t just make things because we need them, but because they make us feel good. Because they are interesting.
We don’t write blog posts, or make interesting websites, or paint or build works of art because they will help us survive, but because we’re driven to find the beauty in life. Even in the case of life’s staples, we embellish the simple act with art.
For example, we don’t learn and perfect artisan bread-making because we feel the need to nourish ourselves, but because we are fascinated by the art and culture of bread, and because we want something more than just another loaf of Wonder bread. Otherwise, we’d just throw bread, flour and water together and eat eat eat.
We make things because it’s fun. Because it’s there. Because we’re human.
The rub, then, becomes not “should we make something?” but “what should we make?” It’s here that we begin separating from each other, where our tastes diverge and our identities are built. Some find a passion and focus. Others are content with consuming, feeding off of the things others make. And some (those poor few) never land on anything. They bounce from one thing to another. They are the anti-polymath: the jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none character in life’s production cycle.
There’s something to be said about letting things go and understanding that we can’t do all of the things. I’ve never been able to do that. Maybe you’ve never been able to do it either. What it means is that, while others are making and perfecting their passion, we’re busy dipping our hand into every bucket.
Maybe that’s okay. But it all seems a little manic, to me.
Anyway, this is a long way of saying, “Hey, look. In addition to the photos and the blogs and the industry-speak and the record collection and the new running habit and the beer making and the family (the family, by the way, are the only thing I feel I’m doing at full strength anymore, which is glorious in its own right) I decided to give you this.”
“It’s something I made. Me and two of my friends.”
“It’s probably crude and definitely low-production and certainly more of an inside joke that it means to be, but it’s a start.”
“It might be funny. We don’t know. But we made it.”
That’s all that matters, sometimes. We made this thing. For us. And for you. (But mostly for us.)