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The world keeps turning and so do I. I’ve been making my way through a bunch of ash, rough turning legs and spindles for future projects. I’m not quite sure what I’ll build, but I hope it brings joy to someone in the future.

The past few months have made me thankful for a lot of things.

A partner who loves to cook and bake and keep me fed, even when I’m not always upholding my end of the bargain. A partner who knows that even though we love each other, that sometimes we need to make sure we have some alone time. Family and friends who do their best to stay connected even though we aren’t seeing each other in person right now. Bosses and co-workers who are helping us navigate how to keep a publishing business running while the whole company works remotely. Not to mention all of those who are still out there in the working world, making sure shelves are stocked, feeding us takeout when we aren’t cooking at home and most importantly, taking care of loved ones who need medical help.

It’s not an easy time, but it’s re­inforced a familiar feeling that I’d lost: It’s the creatives, the people who make things, write books, produce movies and record music that are really helping me get by.

I can’t spend 24 hours a day in the shop (even though it seems I have the time to now). And I can’t spend all of that extra time reading the news and thinking about the state of the world. Thankfully, we have some art to turn to, to bring us joy and give us an escape (at least momentarily) from the weight of the world that seems heavier than ever these days.

A lot of what survives from the past is the art: the books, the paintings, the sculpture, the songs. That says something about what humans intrinsically value, about what’s really important.

Like a lot of woodworkers, I bristle when someone suggests what I do is art. Art seems like something else, something that starts with a capital “A”. Something you’d see in a museum. But I have to remind myself, oftentimes true art is in the eye of the beholder. If someone else finds joy in what you do, that’s halfway to being an artist. And right now, halfway is pretty good.

Taking time to do things for yourself, things that make you happy, is essential to survival in the modern world. For me, that’s spending a lot of time in the shop. But it’s also spending time reading, listening to music, watching movies and absorbing all the art the world has to offer. Let yourself recharge and take in new ideas and information. You just might discover something that speaks to you. Or you might create something that speaks to someone else. In the end, it’s all worth it.

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