Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Series of Importunate Events

The last several weeks have consisted of one mild adventure after another seemingly sent to test my resolve to maintain the new schedule I designed to support my writing and all of the things that support it from reading and research to web site management. Or maybe the test was of my ability to be flexible while maintaining the resolve to honor the work by balancing the slew of major and minor priorities, giving each the appropriate weight. Success has been mixed at best. One unqualified success though has been the holding to a single shift schedule throughout the week. Not only has that meant keeping to the graveyard shift for the Saturday night that I stay with Grandma, it means resisting the temptation to return to the Internet after my mother-in-law leaves for work at six. And not just on Saturdays. Because I have been faithful to this principle, I have been better rested and more productive--in ways that have yet to be reflected here but I hope soon will be. I have been writing more and more creatively--just not material ready for an audience and in some cases, like writing exercises and journaling, not intended for an audience.

The series of events I have somewhat snidely referred to as ‘adventures’ began with a five day heat wave which began on Mother’s Day during which I felt as though I’d lost ten percent of my IQ. Until I rediscovered, as I must each year, that an increase in fluid intake must accompany the increase in temperature. On the last day of the hot weather a circuit breaker kicked off and refused to stay reset. This happened on a Friday and it was the following Friday before an electrician could come scope out the problem. Meanwhile we lived with only half of the electrical outlets and switches in the trailer house working. I mistakenly thought that the washer and dryer were among the appliances on that circuit. So I got behind in my laundry but worse than that did not get the habit of doing laundry in the evening established.

Then last weekend my husband’s brother began a major project here for his mother that is still ongoing and has on several occasions--as tonight-- kept the household up past ten and thus encroached on my work session--at least the Internet part. Tonight I am using the time I wait to begin writing something with the intent to post it later. But I’m not being very dedicated to the proposition as I’ve been surfing really stupid stuff on the TV which is splitting my attention but on the other hand maybe it is also helping me block out the racket of saws, hammers, drills, power screw-drivers and voices on the other side of the thin wall along with the occasional severe thumps that shake the bed I am sitting on. And there just went the smoke alarm again! The thing is so sensitive, the sawdust kicked out by the power drill sets it off. As does the heating up of the linoleum glue with a propane torch. On the other other hand, I suppose I could have put in earplugs. I can’t believe that I slept through this same chaos and noise the day he did the bathroom floor.

Tonight my husband is helping his brother and nephew replace the floor in the laundry room. And I do mean the actual floor boards and not just the floor covering. Last night they moved the washer and dryer out in the back yard and pulled out the carpet and scraped off the linoleum tiles under that in preparation for tonight. Last weekend they removed the linoleum and the toilet in the bathroom and cut out a section of water-damaged floorboards and replaced them and put in a new toilet. A leak from the toilet, another from the washer and a poor seal to the backdoor allowing rain to soak the threshold carpet is not what pressboard was designed for. One look at that naked pressboard leaves me amazed the appliances, including the toilet, did not need step ladders to get down to them.

My brother-in-law originally thought this would be a two day job. One day to prepare the bathroom floor and one to prepare the laundry room floor and to lay the linoleum and reinstall the appliances. But unexpected things happened. Isn’t that always the case? Lessons in flexibility and adapting to reality while staying true to the values that under gird the floor of my life seems to be the theme of this little adventure.

The sight of soggy floor boards and bare floor joists has also stimulated the return of the dreams that plagued me in the mid to late nineties at the time I made the final break with the fundamentalist doctrines that I thought had been supporting my value system and my fundamental sense of self for over thirty years. Those dreams of walking across carpets that sank under my feet, of stepping on floors that tilted and buckled under me, of houses that collapsed into piles of pick-up-sticks around me, of roofs that blew off and water that rose up about my knees and fire that roared about my ears, seemed at first to confirm my sense that the foundations of my life and self could not hold without those doctrines. But in the end, after hundreds of repetitions and dozens of variations on the theme of de-construction, I learned that doctrines are among the man-made stuff used to build a sense of security, pin things in place and decorate our lives. They are ultimately as replaceable as soggy pressboard, as interchangeable as floor coverings, for they are but feeble attempts to point to that Ineffable Something that grounds our being but they are not the thing Itself.

I could go on for another thousand words and still not tell the whole story of the past several week’s series of importunate events and how they impacted me but I think I will break off here for now so I can get this posted and still have a couple hours to surf.

1 tell me a story:

Jamie 6/08/2006 3:43 AM  

Yes, projects that concern the home are consuming, mind boggling, and stressful. That certainly does not describe the whole ordeal, does it?

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