“Work proceeds as a series of self-interruptions. For example, you take a small block of wood to the bandsaw to cut it into a stack of thin layers. But first you have to make a jig to hold the block, so as not to cut your fingers. You make an unnecessarily elegant jig, in private indulgence.”
Elizabeth King, Attention’s Loop
I love thinking about this principle, the submerged rhyme scheme in a Hopkins poem, for example, which I suppose is even one step removed from this, in that someone can actually find the rhyme scheme, whereas they’ll never see the jig.
I’m also fascinated with the inverse: the shabby, but functional thing that gets the job done. The most striking example of which I’ve seen recently is in Lauren Redniss’ new book Radioactive. p. 71. a photo of a thermoplastic mask/sheath worn over the head, that holds the person in place while he receives radiation (*it has holes to screw the mask to the table*) and the precise point to aim the beam is marked on masking tape with a sharpie marker