Friday, March 20, 2009

The Enfolding NIght

The Enfolding Night

Being an engineer, there are times in the professional realm where the rubber hits the road - harder. The last several days have been long and intense since I am the designer of electrical controls for a special new machine.

This machine has not existed before and it will manufacture a product that has not existed before. The great thing about this product is that it already has an eager, paying customer. In these difficult economic times that is especially good news. Consequently there is a sense of urgency about getting the machine online and functioning.

When it comes to technical matters I am typically conscientious and careful. The control strategy involving multiple computer types, interfaces, motion control, heating control, and operator interface, was mocked up on my desk.

All programming and documentation was complete before a single wire was connected to a component on the factory floor. So, when everything WAS connected together on the factory floor . . . it worked.

After such an intense week of industrial effort, I arrived back yesterday evening to the place where I live to an unexpected experience.

A joyful noise was coming from the sky. I looked up and Canadian geese flying low overhead in their typical “V” formation. They sounded so happy to be doing what they were doing, going where they were going.

“Honk, honk! Honk, honk!” Their voices rang out like music. I was enthralled just listening and watching.

The sky filled with great molten grey clouds that cascaded like mountains upward as dusk subdued the atmosphere and invited me closer.

In a way, nothing was happening, but I couldn’t leave. This “nothing” that was right in front and all around was all I wanted.

Finally I went in to the apartment, made a martini, and brought it out again.

Sitting on the concrete porch and gazing up in wonder, I abandoned myself to the enfolding night of life.


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  2. A full dose of goose medicine! :D

  3. You know they honk at each other for encouragement, right? I am a crazy bird lady (I have two birds that sit on my computer all day along with 4 pet chickens). LOVE BIRDS.

  4. Wow! 21 years as an engineer, and despite all the planning, IOQs & documentation in place, NEVER have I seen a new piece of equipment work the first time on the floor!!
    My hat's off to you for getting that going & writing so beautifully here. You deserve a second martini:-)

  5. I did not realize 'programming' and 'documentation' could be so wonderful. Yes, it is working. This journey is fantastic in its variance. mmmmm...