Meticulosity… OR, How to Succeed in Everything

Lew French Stone I’m driven mad by the meticulous. That doesn’t make me admire them any less, however, or realize that they, in the end, will always succeed.

Case in point, the magnificent stone-man, Lew French.

One rock at a time, he creates magnificent walls, fireplaces, cottages. One wall, in a home on Martha’s Vineyard, took him a year to build. Hand over hand he laid each stone against one another. Look closely at this photo and you’ll see that these stones aren’t just stacked: they’re relating.
Even the book about his work, Stone by Design: The Artistry of Lew French, is rare and can run you up to $425 on the out of print market.

You can listen to Lew French’s story here— and I recommend it– but before you go, there’s something I’d like to say about the beauty of perfectionism versus the standard, human drive to incompletion.

Whenever I see such incomparable workmanship like French’s, I wonder from two sides of me. My demon side jeers “See what other mere mortals can do while you fail, fail again?”

But then, there’s also the angel on the other shoulder (often sounding very much like my Mom), “Come on honey. You don’t have time to listen to that. You’re busy.”

Perfectionism is merely our way of silencing the demon.

Meticulosity is our tool.

Lew French is a master demon slayer.

Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 


  2 comments for “Meticulosity… OR, How to Succeed in Everything

  1. Grinder
    December 18, 2007 at 10:15 am

    From a book by my mom

    Snapshots Along the Way – (look it up on Amazon).

    Marilee Jane

    If I were efficient like Marilee Jane
    I’d be dressed, combed, and lipsticked each morning by eight,
    With the house shining clean, and the family well fed,
    And I’d get to the office without being late.

    If I were as modern as Marilee Jane
    I could talk Open Marriage to my spouse without crying,
    And I’d have a few gays in my circle of friends,
    And I’d understand disco without even trying.

    If I were polished as Marliee Jane
    I would speak French as well as the maitre d could,
    And I’d know the right hairdressers, boutiques, and spas,
    And I’d always look cool, and sound calm, and smell good.

    I’d be slim, sleek, and sexy, well-read and genteel,
    My home would be gorgeous, my marriage ideal,
    And my friends would all say that I gave them great pain,
    And they’d hate me the way we hate Marliee Jane.


  2. cc
    December 19, 2007 at 6:31 am

    Glad to reconnect with you, Elizabeth! Hope you and your hubby are doing well, and you’ll have to let me know how everything is going (or I’ll read it all!).

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