The Unexpected Journey

An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought.
— Pablo Picasso

It’s funny how projects can take on a life of their own.  I’ll start a project with a picture in my mind of what I need and what activities will be required but, once work begins, the project almost always branches off in unexpected directions.  Eventually, the project concludes and I’m left with a result that is not at all what I intended, and yet the shadow of my original concept is there if I squint hard enough.

I just spent the last few weeks working on a home improvement project that morphed and changed many times throughout the process.  What started out as a simple plan to paint the living room quickly expanded to multiple rooms, had me cutting into drywall, doing electrical work, repairing plumbing, and shampooing carpets. The project was supposed to only take “a few days of work,” but instead ended up taking me weeks of nights and weekends to complete. The end result is so much better - so much grander - than my original concept that sometimes I can hardly believe that I’m the one that did it.

Woodworking projects are no different.  If you’ve never tried it before, come up with a simple concept and just start building.  Figure out the details as you go.  The project will lead you down paths that you never intended, and you might just surprise yourself with the end result.  It’s a lot of fun that you’ll miss out on if you only spend time building someone else’s plans.