In former days, these hands of mine did more than blindly stagger around a computer keyboard. They were nimble – as comfortable with a straight-razor blade or a thin paint brush as with an electric drill or a table saw. Duties done, they will be free to come alive again in that heavenly retreat of retirement, making things not to have fine things but for the exhilaration and finality of touch and fabrication.
When I retire to my little shop of honor, I will not miss the formal, well-paid, self-important work. The troubleshooting, the problem-solving, the deal-brokering, the puzzle-working, the dot-connecting, the creating something from nothing, the adapting old into something new – all will still be with me. It was with me before I started my belated career of twenty-two years; it will continue to be there in the company of my family and neighbors and singing birds.
When I retire to my little shop of honor, I want to invent, or share in the invention of, one more creation, one more thing to be proud of. I am confident that there is one more way out there to reinvent myself and to make my modest shop a source of simple, ephemeral pleasure.
Millions of little shops of honor can achieve similar goals by simply pursuing the activities that they most enjoy with practiced skill – risking loss, and letting others marvel at their dedication and product.