Monday, April 25, 2005

What makes a favorite?

A favorite anything. Gun, knife, guitar, bike, car, whatever. What is that often indefinable something that makes it your favorite? And how would you describe it?

You know what I'm talking about. You pick something up and, wow. It's like it was made to fit you, or knows what you're going to do and helps. A gun that seems to steady itself as you aim; a knife that slips into your hand and cuts like it had its' own guidance system. A guitar that lets your hands slip along without effort. A car that makes it seem you can feel the road and what's going to happen as you drive.

And what makes that one different? You can pick up two of the same thing: same model, same everything, and while one feels like it was meant for you the other feels like junk. Maybe not junk, maybe just not as good in some way you cannot describe.

I've got a Tacoma guitar that I thought about for nearly a month, and then drove a hundred miles to buy. I just couldn't forget how it felt to play it, the sound it produced, and I wanted it. Still have it. Unless something happens that I just cannot play it anymore and I give it to one of my kids, I'll have it 'till I die.

Any ideas?

3 comments:

Slash said...

My favorite things not only feel right, but are also a joy to use for various other reasons. Sometimes it is because the item has sentimental or historical value; somtimes the joy comes from a certain uniqueness or singularity - like having an artistic quality or being particularly well-made.

Kind of like the difference between a stainless steel medium framed handgun from any of the Big Gun Corporations and an older Colt Python or Smith & Wesson N-frame revolver.

Reading over what I just wrote, it occurs to me that what I am describing may be labeled as "soul". Hmm.

Slash said...

My favorite things not only feel right, but are also a joy to use for various other reasons. Sometimes it is because the item has sentimental or historical value; somtimes the joy comes from a certain uniqueness or singularity - like having an artistic quality or being particularly well-made.

Kind of like the difference between a stainless steel medium framed handgun from any of the Big Gun Corporations and an older Colt Python or Smith & Wesson N-frame revolver.

Reading over what I just wrote, it occurs to me that what I am describing may be labeled as "soul". Hmm.

Firehand said...

In one of his novels, David Drake comments that objects cannot have a soul; however, one can come to fit your hand and self so well that it might as well have one, for it seems to become a part of you.

In some cases, that's exactly it. In the case of others... maybe in some it's the fact of more hand-work having gone into a piece, and something rubs off on it(into it?) because of that.