Monday, January 24, 2011

Law 1: Love is Fascination

Making Monday

One of the symptoms of the infatuation stage of being in love is that can't get enough of the object of your affection. This is the kind of love that is easiest to eulogize (or lampoon). It's also something that wears off over time.

The fascination that is part of the love in the First Law of Making has some of the character of infatuation but parts ways when when we get into the realm of compulsion and lose of control. It's better characterized as a deep and abiding interest. And it's not something that begins to wear off until the making has been completed.

It's also quiet fixation. The making looms large in your thoughts when you must attend to other things, and you find yourself a bit anxious to get back to the work. Indeed, you start to see everything around you in terms of the project. You take particular delight in finding connections between the other things in which you are involved and your project, like a lover finding a present for his or her beloved.

Some times a writing project, particularly if it's something like a school assignment that's been imposed upon you, can be a chore. And some times the writing is like a lover from whom you are loathe to part. One of the subtle techniques for completing tasks and enjoying the process is to find something fascinating about it.

Fascination, taken too far, can be a user trap, particularly if it's not the thing being made but the fact that you are making it that you find so fascinating.

As with any powerful force, where some is good, too much can be dangerous. Remember that higher laws of making teach us to finish our work and let the made thing take its place in the world. Like the idion, "still waters run deep," the love that drives the makers and is celebrated in the First Law of Making is quite and constant: not a pathology but a source of power.

Image: Bill Longshaw /

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