There is no better. There is just is. It’s taken me a life at the bench to believe this. I’ve denied it. Wondered about it. Dissected it. Challenged it. Adhered to it. Buried myself inside of it. I make the bicycle. Then set it free. It becomes what someone else believes. The next in line makes it better. Or doesn’t. But not me.
What makes a bicycle better. Roll faster. Fit superbly. Inspire confidence. Lean them all against the wall and they’re the same bicycle. Add a rider and – the question ceases to matter. Or you may get an answer. It’s no longer mine. It’s yours. What do you believe in. What do you want from the ride.
I look at every detail. And within each lives smaller ones. Spend decades looking, and see further around each turn. No matter how many tries I take, I’ll bring more depth to the next one. I take a swing at the material. And try to erase everything that came before. While also respecting it. And including it.
I stand with a pile of metal. Every time I do this is a beginning. A chance to relive the years. And all that’s come before this very day. Will this one be better. Will the next one be better. I stare at the tools. They are part of me. I hold the steel. And ask it to help me. I think about everything I’ve ever done. And then I let go. And then start over.
All This By Hand