tools to build the stars
I’ve used the same set of tools as my father ever since I was little, even though they’re heavy and sharp.
They don’t feel as heavy now, but they’re still sharp.
They were my grandmother’s tools, and her mother’s and grandmother’s before that. After they were my grandmother’s they became my father’s, because she didn’t have a daughter and some people said she should take an apprentice instead but she taught my father because she thought it was silly to only teach girls. Now my father has me, but I think he would have taught me even if I’d been a boy because he tended to agree with grandma about most things except how long to keep his hair.
He lets me try different tools to see which ones work better for me. He says the ones that work best for him might not fit my hands the same way and ones that are perfect for me may be nearly useless for him, though I haven’t found any that work perfectly for me yet.
He calls this trial and error. I call them mistakes, but he says mistakes are how we learn.
That’s why he leaves the not-quite-right stars around the workshop, as reminders, but I think he also does it because they sparkle just as brightly as the proper ones.
About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.