Monday, September 12, 2011

Chairs on the Side of the Road

Several years ago, I went to an event of my men's group, a near stranger wandering into a club to which I was not sure I belonged. My marriage had ended, my business collapsed, my daughter grown estranged, but I was beginning to scribble ever more fervently.

From across the room, several men came directly towards me, arms outstretched to embrace the writer whose words they had read, but not yet met. A profound moment of affirmation, I recall it often to remind myself that efforts no matter how apparently small and trivial in our own lives may actually have the meanings, significance and impact on others we had imagined.

One man in particular made a big deal about the construction blog that had started my efforts to go public. He confirmed that I was providing inspiration for him to commit to the business and expand his view of what kind of career in it could be available to him.

A year later when the emotions and self-discovery of this much more personal blog had become dominant, at our next meeting he mourned the silence on those other pages. His regret has plagued me throughout the recovery from my fall.

As I embark fully, well-healed and determined, on this new life as a writer, his image has come regularly to mind. More to the purpose is the observation that after several years of depressed markets and difficult financial terms, the housing industry struggles to express vitality in a transformed market.

While the accuracy of my hammer hits have greatly diminished in reality since my fall from the scaffold (not to mention my eyesight), by doing a few projects lately, I realize I have a wealth of other skills that can be translated to hits on my written words. The emergence of ebooks and a new generation of home owners more comfortable with computers than hammers makes me certain there is a niche to offer my services.

The world changes rapidly, but shelter remains an undeniable need. In these last two weeks, between painting projects for others, I am replacing the porch entrance to my little apartment. The transformation from decrepit and dangerous to sturdy and welcoming facades is indicative of the work on my own heart in these several years.

Too often caught up in the swirl of current events, it is important to compare our surroundings with other moments along the way. Like the tortoise walking obliviously right past the hare, the forward movement can easily be lost and growth seem apparently insignificant.

How rich has your own garden grown this summer? How deep have roots been planted and widely friendships nurtured?

We tend to be myopic in this fast paced life, racing event to event, focused and action oriented by inclination, opportunity or demand. The world shrunken by the internet to make so much available dangerously occupies our minds to the point we lose track of our hearts.

It is not easy to secure and maintain our homes. Not just the place of the heart, but the food and clothing also required seduce us into extraordinary efforts to create our lives. Too easily we can confuse quantity with quality. Obsessing with clearing away our trees to look out on the forests around us, we forget to sit down and enjoy the view.

Maintenance is not worth the effort if we fail to lounge on the Adirondak chairs we worked so hard to purchase. They look pretty enough out in the yard as we march arms full of groceries from the driveway into the house, but it is vital that we make the time to use them to nurture and support our heart-felt dreams and souls yearning for love and connection.

Will you notice the sunset today?

Please share with your friends

No comments: