While building the HO scale version of this layout I often caught myself feeling so absorbed by the work that I could emerge from it refreshed as from a good meditation. I could appreciate the value of that and also that the quantity of that work was sized just right for me. Not sized to match the space in our home or the measure of resources we feel like investing in this project balanced against what I need back from the work because productive is a feel and a measure of visible work completed. But I also said “It’s good that it’s not much larger” because I know it would feel overwhelming.
While almost all of the rail is in place it’s only spiked enough to tack in its location and hold things in gauge “enough” to facilitate testing both when running a train and visually “does it look right?” Laying down ties is not unlike the recording left in sand in a Zen garden. I wasn’t aware of how my mind was wandering until I looked back and saw it had. I actually don’t mind that the ties wander, I want them to, but this section never quite looked right.
On Monday I cut out that section of ties and shifted it all back into line. And now, it’s Wednesday and the sun is out. We went for a walk to the library and pick up some things for our pantry first at Noggins and later at the Good Luck Cafe and a coffee for the walk home. That warm sunshine feels so good. Not quite ready to head back into the shitstorm that is my agenda for this week I thought I’d enjoy the last of that coffee and fill in a section of track with a few more spikes. As I worked I kept admiring what I have created.
I ripped out the HO scale version of the layout and replaced it with On30. The wood ties feel better to have used and I’m glad I did this. More than a desire to be modelling some thing I want to be modelling in media that I enjoy the feel of as I work in it. Today’s reflection resolves any threads of regret I might have had (should I have done this?) because I love the colour and feel of those wood ties compared to what they replaced. I promised myself, last December, that throughout this project we would respect an iterative approach that would encourage revision and refinement. Replacing what I had done with this feels like the kind of refinement I needed.
And spiking down rail is such a good feeling. It requires patience and focus but in the form of presence of mind not leadership. In contrast to the HO version of this same layout I caught myself feeling a premature sense of regret that soon I’ll have spiked the last tie and this phase of construction would be done. I think I wish this layout was a whole lot larger so there would always be another bit of track to spike down. I love the feeling, or think I would, that this kind of respite could always be here on tap.