I have to say that for me rope is more than just a tool or a consumable resource to be used up.
Though it’s very possible to take either a very practical or a very mystic view of your relationship with your rope. For me it’s (as with so many things) a combination of things.
As a craftsman you have to take care of your tools and rope is a tool of what I do. Having a tool that is well cared for, maintained and ready to use is essential to the practice of your craft. But we are human beings and as humans we tend to develop a relationship with our tools. We tend to project emotions onto and develop an emotional relationship with our tools.
This is perfectly natural and understandable. After all when tying we project out emotions and desires through the act and through the use of rope onto or partners.
I consequently want to use the best rope I can and of course take care of it to the best of my ability too.
I treat the rope in a way that works for me and makes it feel good. I maintain my rope, fix high stranding, clean it if needed and put it away with care.
So rope becomes more than a mere thing, a resource to be used. Also over time it becomes associated with the memories of the things you do too. Feelings you project onto rope are no less real feelings for that.
By this time it’s beyond something that you toss aside casually and I also dispose of my rope in a manner that seems fitting to me.
The quality and feel of your rope therefore becomes very important. It is also a reason I believe to use natural fibre ropes. Synthetic rope to me lacks ‘soul’, it’s too regular, too anonnymous, lacking in personality. Because of it’s sameness its lack of any natural or organic relationship to the rope, disposing of it becomes nothing. Why not, there’s plenty more just like it.
Natural rope is flawed, and in it’s flaws I find more and more it’s charm, yes its imperfections make it better. You get much more from a tool that you know well. With a natural rope there is something you get to know and become familiar with in time and with use. Natural rope ages, wears, changes over time and you are part of that change. There are ‘ages’ to rope.
t’s not so much an emotional connection to… but an emotional feeling about.
I don’t mean an emotion like love, devotion etc. But the kind of emotion that you get when you have put a lot of work into a tool to maintain it or when you have bought a high quality implement and have a regard for the effort and skill that went into making it.
You might regard it as at least in part being the regard for the work and human effort that has gone into making something, preparing and maintaining it. As you might take pride in something that you have prepared well and produced good work with.
As you become familiar with your tools you inevitably develop a familiarity with them. As you become familiar with them and know their characteristics you learn how to use them to the best effect and produce better work with them. This leads people in general to come to have favorite tools. Tools that they like and feel comfortable working with.
Perhaps I’m something of a sentimentalist in this regard. I like things that have ware, that for me accumulate character over time. It’s the ware, the experience of things that for me adds character and to an extent ‘value’ for me and connects you to the experiences that resulted in that ware and character accumulating.