I was carving a pipe for a friend of mine the other day, when a little neglect on my part and a bit of bad luck, caused what I see as a catastrophic failure. I cut through the very expensive briar I was carving when the band saw I was using slipped.
I was devastated to say the least. I had already put several hours of work into designing and shaping the pipe. Now, not only was I out the cost of the briar wood, but I also had to order more so I could get this done for my friend. Due to the fact that I am in Afghanistan during this time the wait time may well be several weeks.
Another friend of mine asked why I didn’t go ahead and finish it for practice. I explain that having cut into the bowl it was useless to waste my time on finishing it, and patching it was out because I didn’t know what would or would not be ok for the heat as well as nontoxic, and neutral in taste/aroma. Basically I was pouting about my mistake. I was more interested in beating myself up over my failure than in correcting it.
A little bit of research and I found some acceptable substances for the repair, but have had to modify my design to cover the scar that will be left behind when all is said and done.
The new design is wonderful! An elegant work of art and I never would have gotten there if not for my initial mistake.
Also I have now acquired a new skill that I would not have if not for the necessity created by my mistake.
Looking back on my life I can clearly see so many times that what I thought was a mistake or horrible blunder has turned out to be a blessing, or has guided me on to bigger and better. (As long as I could get out of my own way)
I guess what I am saying is that mistakes we make in life are only truly mistakes if we allow them to block us from continuing on. No one can go through life without regret, but we can learn from our mistakes and grow. We can alter our path and find new and wonderful experiences waiting around the bend in the road we never planned on walking.I know that even with all my regrets in life, there isn’t much I would change in my past, because if I did there are so many amazing experiences I would not have had, and wonderful people I would not know. It’s not worth the risk to change the past, but to adapt for the future, now that I look forward to.