Friday, September 30, 2016


When I was a little boy, I used to get in trouble all the time.  I mean, ALL THE TIME.  One of my biggest offenses was the way that I responded back to my parents.  I had the penchant for being a know-it-all and a wee bit sassy.  I also never liked to say "yes" or "no" and it drove my dad crazy.  He had been in the military and expected us to say, "yes, sir" and "no, sir".  This went against my grain.  I didn't want to lie and I knew that things could happen that could change the outcome of a particular response.  Plus, I didn't want to be wrong either.  So I would say, "maybe".  He'd get so frustrated and say things like, "Who are you?  Gomer Pyle?!?!?!"

Even to this day, I still find myself saying, "maybe".  I know it can be frustrating.  Some people have accused me of purposefully trying to send mixed signals to be more mysterious or evasive with my noncommittal response.  It's not meant to be purposefully deceitful or vague, but if there's a possible gray area, I don't like committing to one side or the other.

With recipes, this can again be a sore spot for some.  I remember someone asking me for a recipe for a particular rice dish and when I said, "Oh, I don't really have a recipe..." they said, "well, if you didn't want to tell me, that's all you had to say".  It's not that I didn't want to share... but I knew that there were just certain things that I did that effected that particular recipe and that I could copy down the ingredients and the steps, but that it wouldn't turn out just the same.

Now, there are some things that are fail proof and if you do XYZ with ABC, it'll turn out just right.

When it comes to sharing how-to craft information, this can be the same deal.  Recently someone asked for my process of working with a particular material and my response back wasn't super useful.  It wasn't purposefully unhelpful, but in response I told them that they should experiment and play with the material and that play and those experimentations would inform their process far more than what I could communicate.  It's kind of like the difference between giving someone answers to memorize for a test and teaching someone the way to unlock the secrets of a subject that they'll internalize and appreciate and carry with them the rest of their life.  Sometimes you've got to jump right in, get your hands dirty and figure out what works best for you.

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