My lamp broke. It's a cute lamp so I wanted to fix the stability of the rod holding the bulb and shade. I've tried to fix it before but the parts are too old and worn out for a lasting repair. This time I figured I'd fix it with copper wire because there's been a bag of old copper wire by my door ever since the electrician was here and said "Recycle this. Copper is worth decent money these days."
I suppose he's right, but I looked at the messy pile and envisioned cool projects which would be wasted in recycling. I encouraged my brother to do something with it, but it's just been in the doorway without becoming art.
I fixed the lamp, no problem. A stupid amount of time later I kept asking myself why I kept stripping the insulation off the old wires, especially since it's probably asbestos or something. When I got a blister I thought surely that's time to quit stripping wire. I couldn't help myself.
Part of it was the vivid memory of Grandpa's basement and seeing his supple wire with cloth insulation. The memory was so vivid that I wanted to stay in that place, smell the familiar smells, feel the immediacy that Grandpa is still alive. It just felt good, and I kept tearing my hands up on wire, but I didn't actually create anything.
Sometimes I think that I'm neither creative nor inventive, and respect the people who are these things. Then I realize that since I know a lot of creative and inventive people, my comparisons are skewed. I'm more inventive than some people in the wider world, I just don't notice it in myself because my inventions are little, problem-solving things.
The handle on my tea kettle broke? No problem, I'll make a new handle. I want to put all my computer stuff in a tiny room? That's not a problem either. I'll make some shelves out of boards and metal electric boxes. And so on. See, I'm cheap and won't go out and buy a new tea kettle or a custom shelving unit, therefore I have to be inventive.
It's part of the fun for me at garage sales. I saw a metal grate with a heron on it and liked it. Maybe everyone else who went to that garage sale just saw something heavy and impractical. I turned it into a garden gate which I see every time I pull into my driveway.
Grandpa was like this, Mom's like that too, and so I figure it's in my genes or in my examples that there's no good reason to spend money on stuff that you can do for cheap or free. And then I spend too much time stripping insulation off copper wires with some vague thought that there's a gem in the mess. I also think wouldn't it be cool if I electrified my unknown gem.
Yeah, sure. The wire is back in its bag by the side door.