While I was looking for a clipart picture of a gear, I came across a website (here it is) that gave detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to draw one for technical blueprints. You would think that it would be a straightforward process (draw circle, draw another circle, stick bits around it so it looks like a happy little sun from a kindergarten finger painting). But you would be wrong!
Drawing one gear had twenty two steps to it. Some of those steps require advanced degrees in geometry, and I think you need to draw stuff into the 4th dimension for the spurs to line up correctly. I have a new found respect for anyone that can draw the design documents for a Spirograph set.
Morris Tapp is a gear toother. He works at one of the factories that keep the great city-state known as the District humming along. He should have been an artist. He has a way, however, of looking at his job as fitting into something much larger than himself, even if it isn’t where he imagined he would be.
I keep wondering where my place will end up being. I thought I knew. But, like Morris, I sometimes think that I’m being fitted into something for which I am not quite prepared.
“When I got my oneses,” her da told her, “I felt much like you did, Love. I wanted nothing more than to be a painter, making fine pieces to hang in rich houses or in the churches, I dearly wanted that, I did. But my da, your grandfather, who you never met I’m sad to say, he chose for me that very profession I work in now. He saw in me a strength and attention that would serve me well as a gear-toother, which is a fine and proud position, for the factories cannot run without meshing gears. But at the time, with only eleven short years behind me, I thought it was the dullest thing a boy could do, and I thought my da was fiercely mean to wish me to do it.
“I was apprenticed to a man named Mr. Bettleman, a small man made of wires and gristle and bone. He knew his trade as a man knows the palms of his own hands. He was not kind to me, Love, no he was not, but he did teach me well. He taught me how to measure, and how to cut, how to file and how to grind, how to judge the angles of a cog with nothing more than a glance. He taught me what I needed to be like one of those many gears in this fine District of ours, for without a trade or a purpose a man cannot be anything to his world, and he fits in no way to the rest of the great machine.”