Jul 13

Life Lessons To Boot

I had intended on being about finished with the studio at this point, but alas…the heavy rains in the last couple of weeks have brought unexpected plan-changes, accompanied by inevitable and invaluable life-lessons to boot. ┬áThe garage has flooded almost every day, and water’s been building up under the stage floor, and behind the structure.

I spent the first couple of days sort of standing around overwhelmed, covered in mud, feeling exasperated that my plans had been derailed. The idea that I could quickly divert the water was blocked off by giant tree roots and cement slabs, and the grade of the back yard is so slight, that I finally settled down with the fact that I was going to have to chip my away through the cement and roots, and dig trenches for gravel and pipes (french drains) that would carry the water all the way through the back and front yards. Once I accepted the fact that this was going to take a couple of weeks, everything became a little less overwhelming. And then the life lesson thing came in….
This past year, I’ve been working REALLY hard on re-channeling some thought processes and patterns in my brain. I’ve been hearing a lot about how repeated thoughts and patterns can actually create physical paths in your brain, and that with a great deal of effort, one can clear new ones. So I started imagining that, as I dug, that that’s what I was doing. The whole process became this huge extended metaphor, and I LOVE extended metaphors. Alll along, I was touching corners of the yard that I hadn’t tackled in years (for example, there was a piece of plywood with brush and yard-waist piled up against it that used to be a make-shift gate, and in order to get through it, I had to clear it all out, and build a new functional gate, which I never would have done).
The main thing that I’ve learned in this whole process, is that certain goals and timelines can really mess up one’s ability to appreciate what’s happening around them. I mean it’s great to have an idea of where a project is headed, but if you’re working on something every day anyway, why not really be present with the work, without being pulled out of it by the metering of how close you are to being done? Or whether or not you’re doing what you thought you’d be doing with your time?
There’s nothing like some good ditch-digging to really slow you down. In a good way.

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