Artisans and Uncertainty

It becomes hard to see the wood for the trees.

As we head into a continued period of “lockdown lite”, uncertainty roams our lives like a hungry ghost, consuming our attention. Many think that the restrictions are punitive and will end their business. We are all trying to come to terms with what we do at Christmas to see loved ones. There are so many people to blame. No wonder we’re distracted.

Those who think like artisans have an advantage. They have an anchor. In the midst all of the uncertainty, they have something they are certain of. Their craft.

The work is the client, and no matter what else is going on, the work calls the shots. Artisans have a thread they follow.

The Way It Is


There’s a thread you follow. It goes among  

things that change.  But it doesn’t change. 

People wonder about what you are pursuing. 

You have to explain about the thread. 

But it is hard for others to see. 

While you hold it you can’t get lost. 

Tragedies happen; people get hurt 

or die; and you suffer and get old. 

Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.

You don’t ever let go of the thread.

William Stafford

When we do someone else’s work, it’s more difficult to have a thread to hang on to. We get buffeted by other people’s needs and changing priorities, and find ourselves adrift.

We can all find our thread, whether we are already an artisan or not.

I’ll move onto that on Monday.

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