I remember in high school I took systems engineering classes. We'd learned drafting, requiring purchasing of 0.5, 0.7 and 0.9 mm pencils, special erasers etc. I still remember the trip to purchase these at a local art-supply shop with my Mom. There was an intentionality to undertaking this craft, manifest in the physical supplies used to do it.
Later in high school, When I learned the logic of pneumatics, hydrauilics, and relays / PLCs , we were given stencils we could use to draw our logic diagrams. I still have those stencils (see below), these physical objects are manifestations of talents I cultivated long ago. They remind me that an activity, taltent, craft was in-fact real, and experienced.
In the martial art Judo, many start out practicing the art in a ragged and possibly falling apart loaner gi top (the cotton uniform). Then, when they decide the sport might be for them, they order their first own gi. It is at this point that things completely change, you can see it in the face / body and actions of them as they become a Judoka and don the uniform of one. If you don't go to Judo practice for awhile, the gi stares at you from your closet, asking "When will you put me on again?" These artifacts have more mental meaning than we often consciously realize.
I feel like some of our digital-everything focus, exacerbated by online everything from COVID-19, has us lacking some of the intrinsic and subtle physical artifacts we may have been used to.
What are some physical artifacts from your life and experience that you've treasured? How can you bring more of these physical experiences to people in your community. I recently opened a t-shirt I received from MozFest, for winning at a Bingo game, it is a beautiful logo, with nice color work. It brings again that reality of past experience into the physical world. It has made what was a virtual experience transform into a real experience. Magical!
Do we have less physical artifacts of our work, talents and professions in this digital era?
What are some of your most treasured artifacts which remind you of your talents (show pictures please)?