Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Garage from Hell and Its Gifts

Spent part of the day yesterday over at my sisters, helping tear down the garage from hell. It's been an all summer long process because the thing is a beast of a building, and we had to haul off all the debris ourselves. I've only put in a few afternoons worth of work on this project; my sister's boyfriend and my father have really done the lions share.

Anyway, as we pushed down part of the old garage frame yesterday, exposing this huge, wide open expanse that had been covered by the building for fifty years, it felt like my life. It WAS my life at the moment. But also this tumbling over of the old, and seeing the wide openness behind feels very true to me today. And just as that space in their backyard is undefined as of now - it's future use not yet determined - so too is a lot of my life.

We pulled the lawn table and chairs into the newly opened space yesterday and sat down for a drink, some pizza, and conversation. I had a bit of a melt down when a question was asked about my old job, a reminder of how challenging it can be to hang with the uncertainty and instability of the relative world. But beyond that, there was a quality of spaciousness there I think we all felt - both the actual open space we sat in, but also something deeper. Looking around, everything was there. The beautiful, new fence my father and my sister's boyfriend had built. A pile of dirt, broken glass, and other rubble. The remains of the last third of the garage, waiting to be taken down. A pile of old lumber. A pile of new lumber.

I've spent a lot of time in my life trying to build, grow, succeed and maintain, but the flip side is always there, too. Yesterday, it felt abundantly clear to me that no matter how much fussing I do on the surface, building this and tearing down that, life will always be in some kind of transition. I will always contain some of that rubble, some of that broken down shell of a garage. And I need to remind myself again and again that that's just fine.

*Photo of my sister's boyfriend snoozing in the new space after a long day's work.


spldbch said...

I really like how you saw a deep life lesson in what would otherwise have been just another ordinary thing. Seeing the metaphors in the day-to-day stuff brings meaning to the mundane.

Uncertainty is difficult, isn't it? It's often hard to remember that everything, in reality, is uncertain. No matter what our plans are we never know what else life might have in mind..

Algernon said...

Sometimes a snooze in the hammock is very, very good.