showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements.
“you can’t afford to be complacent about security”
All throughout school I scraped by like a honda civic trying to navigate the steep dirt roads of Vermont in the dead of winter. With shaky letters my dad had scribbled the definition of complacent on a postit note that was placed on the rafter holding up the bar my brother and I would do our homework on. The main reason for writing this definition has slipped my mind, but the idea behind getting lazy and not striving to continue learning has stuck with me. And being immersed in the wonders of a forest or natural landscape will always magnify that feeling by making you feel small.
Walking into the woods feels as natural as a revolver’s magazine dancing on its axis. But more recently I’ve felt complacent with routine, lacking the vigour I once had for the natural world and bicycles. Getting faster. And stronger. And losing my mind with one track routine. It works for some as their goals are only reached by the constant routine. But, like English Ivy’s supple tendrils guiding itself through crevasses of brick and contouring around tree limbs, it feels important now more than ever, to stay dynamic and continue learning.
I feel the dough wrapping around my fingers as if it were octopus’ suckers latching on for a ride. Every turn of the bowl, or every minute of kneading suggests a new form of transformation. Bubbles begin to form, gaining more life to create the airy pockets we all drool over, which instills excitement as much in yourself as in the dough. Whether it’s muffins, bread, or, my favorite, waffles, the more I work with the doughy medium, I gain an understanding of what the final result will become.
The same goes for creating something from wood. Unlike a metal or something made of stone, wood contours to its surroundings, and in the PNW, goes wild as humidity fluctuates. Fine cuts matching their placement along a wall last intermittently as days change from blue bird, and sun, to a deluge of mystery. But, that change tips its’ hat towards the insecurities and imperfection of human existence. We strive to be our best, and accept the challenge of overcoming the imperfection along the way.
This winter I’ve felt some stagnation, as routines settle into brainless motion sometimes lacking creativity. The variety of learning new skills, like working with wood, or manipulating the provocative bubbles in dough, enhances not only my perspective on the day to day, but how I incorporate creativity into all situations. As the RZA from Wu-Tang once said, “Cultivate the novice inside you. Attack each chamber as a novice.” It seems backwards, but to keep the mind naive and open, even in something I’ve been practicing my whole life, helps to improve the whole experience while taking more away from it
Check out Myles tapping into his deep well of talent for the release of our Process X last summer.