Some tribes people don’t know how old they are. They measure their age by, say, the number of rains which have come and gone since they were born. A village elder might be 300. Unless they live on a wet island in the North Sea, that is, in which case they’d have lost count.
An alternative way of counting, of measuring progress, that’s good. It shifts, broadens our perspective. It slows us down. It might help us appreciate the journey.
We’re not good at celebrating the journey. We’re destination obsessed. To compound the problem, our digitally addled, distracted, reactive brains seek a new destination every hour, every day. Every minute. That’s the diet the super computers in our pockets serve us up. ‘Destination On Demand’. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.
Maybe we should shift perspective.
What if we work to a completely new set of timings?
What if we start counting by the passing of the rains rather than the minutes?
What if we took five winters before we had a product for others to taste, to enjoy?
What if we put aside the need for the immediate and instead plugged in for the long term? Generational work.
The journey from idea to dram is a long and winding one.
It requires building - literally and conceptually. It requires patience. It requires a focus, consistency. The distractions of the day can be swept aside in service of the big goal; a product, borne of a place, seeding a culture as it travels, finding its way into our glass, over and over, year after year (not day after day).
A product created for the generations.
A product borne of a place.
A product grown from the ground up.
Maybe all our work should learn from this.
Make things for the long term, not the short. Build something that your grandchildren’s grandchildren might enjoy. (If in theory at least).
Make it about a place. Fashions, ideas, preferences all come and go. Places, by contrast, move slowly. Glacially. We like that, particularly when everything else appears to go so fast (although it isn’t but that’s a story for another day).
Be overwhelmingly and unashamedly analogue. Analogue is about atoms. We’re about atoms. It’s a match made in heaven. Let digital be the route map. And that’s all.
That would be a journey to savour.