The Carpenter

He spent the whole day after his performance in his basement, working on his latest project. It was a cabinet, and a fairly simple one. He had been struggling with it for nearly a year, and he thought the end was in sight. So despite having been out with his fellow performers well after midnight, he had woken himself up at six that morning, and worked nearly continuously until around ten that night.

He screwed on the last door, closed it, and stepped back to appraise his work. In the bright lights he had set up in his work station the reality was obvious. He still couldn’t saw in a straight line to save his life, and he was miserable at reproducing the same thing more than once. The cabinet, if it could even be called that, was a mess of deformed wood and asymmetry. There were big gaps that the doors simply did not cover even when completely closed.

He was the most highly acclaimed concert pianist in the country, and probably the world. His performances always sold out at whatever venue he played; the top recording studios always sought him out when they were producing some new recording of a classical piece. He made a very good living.

But he did not think of himself as a pianist. He thought of himself as a carpenter; carpentry was the only thing he had ever really loved, ever really wanted to do.

And so regardless of how he was perceived in the world outside of his basement, he would always think of himself as a failure.

Published by

Adam Gurri

Adam Gurri works in digital advertising and writes for pleasure on his spare time. His present research focuses on the ethics of business and work, from the perspective of virtue and human flourishing.