I have to be careful this time of year. It is neither prudent nor provident to allow myself to become fixated on one thing. Winter has a lot to do with this. January is my usual month to sit in the office, cogitate, plan, imagine, and create new fancies from whole cloth.
Regrettably, with all that desk time, I gain weight. So get thee behind me, chocolate bars!
So how does this relate to not becoming fixated on one thing? I tend to research and explore projects a bit too thoroughly sometimes.

It’s been long years since I tied anything more complicated than a bowline. But I’m considering some boat portraits on oval backgrounds. The framing around them will be a manila rope gusset, neatly done to size.
The last time I did some of these, I knew a marlinespike artist who did the gussets for me. Right now, I’m on my own.

Easy you say? Well, a simple gusset can be laid up by anyone with basic marlinspike knowledge. But for me? My desk is spattered with five books on marlinspike, half-finished gussets, forms, and bits of rope. To most, it might seem that I have a somewhat scattershot approach to this, but it’s more of hyperfocus on one area. I have five or so other things that I have to accomplish. Then, when the sun starts warming the carving shop to a tropical fifty-five in February, I return to carving. By then, I have to have this and other issues resolved.

I can’t afford to spend all my time on one particular project. So How do I snap myself out of this hyper-focus? The easiest way is an afternoon at a museum. Within an hour’s drive is one of my favorites, the Peabody Essex Museum, and if I’m up to a long drive, I can visit Mystic Seaport. At either, I can see marlinespike work all over. But I can also see incredible art, diverse exhibits and have my mind stimulated in new ways.

For me, it’s a maritime museum by interest. On the other hand, it might be a more conventional museum if you have a similar issue to mine. In either case, the effect is that It exposes you to a diversity of new thoughts.
I come away with new ideas for interests and projects, and my current project slips into perspective with others.

This has not been a paid announcement for museums. It’s free. They can be good for what ails you.

Sammi Cox

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