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Disarray

Disarray
Robert Delaunay: Champs de Mars: La Tour Rouge (1911)
"We might never finish, but we're real close to done …"

I can tell that The Grand Refurbish nears completion because the house seems in ever greater Disarray. I'd imagined that as we finished rooms and even started re-inhabiting them, that the clutter might recede. Certainly, the second floor now holds only traces of the messes that dominated there for weeks and weeks, but as the effort has concentrated on the final two rooms, the materiel necessary to affect the remaining changes have been crammed into an even smaller space. I'm forever tripping over something and have taken to avoiding the workrooms unless its before or after the work day. The painter needs his space as does the carpenter, and I can do whatever I need to do in there off hours, though most of what I do in there amounts to tripping over something or tidying up, even though I know for certain that the surest way to increase the net sense of disarray involves somebody tidying up for somebody else, especially if its done without first seeking advice, counsel, or permission. The living room and library are currently in such disarray that they disturb me. I feel moved to nap through the balance of this effort. Wake me when the clutter's gone. I have no stomach for it.

Last week, The Muse cleaned up a mess I'd made by creating one of her own.
I had found it convenient to stockpile everything needed to install lock sets on the refurbished doors on the countertop in my little bathroom upstairs. That room's door was the first I'd remounted and once the equipment found its way there, that countertop became their default home base. Out of the goodness of her heart and, I suspect, a bit of disgust, though, she consolidated all construction-related material to the recently vacated card table that had for weeks held the painter's tools. He'd moved downstairs and into the garage to allow us to move back into our rooms, but I hadn't. I still needed a sizable array of drivers, chisels, and shit close at hand until I'd finished with my picky finishing efforts. My door work had stalled when I ran out of decent hinges. It stalled a little more when I discovered The Muse's great gift, a fresh Disarray within which my tools had fallen.

It's proven generally true that sending someone to fetch something from another's stockpile rarely yields success. I've many times gone out to Kurt Our Painter's Disarray in the garage, intent upon finding the BIG pliers or something, hoping not to disturb our professional's flow state, only to return like the dunce of the class, having failed to find my object. Kurt's done the same when searching through my Disarrays. Joel Our Carpenter maintains his equipment according to his judgement which can't help but look faulty to my eyes. The net effect of so much organizing according to differing central organizing principles seems to have produced a Gordian Knot. Nobody's best intentions can hope to wield very much influence over the whole of it. Our only likely salvation will come from simply being done, and being so danged close to finished, closure seems to be slowly receding into an even murkier distance. That window which was delivered broken injected more uncertainty into our already shaky schedule. We once dreamed of Thanksgiving in the refurbished dining room. Now we imagine eating while hovering over pots simmering on the stovetop.

It's clear that I suffer from the Refurbishment version of battle fatigue. I'm finding it increasingly challenging to rise to any enticement. Kurt Our Painter wisely suggested that I'd been working seven day weeks since the effort started and that I might deserve giving myself some slack. He counseled that I just go do whatever else might catch my interest. I've earned it, but my world's still in Disarray. I suspect the chaos marks the context which can't help but influence my internal reactions. This Disarray isn't just out there, but in here, too. It's a genuine wonder that I can do anything right now. I feel not simply beside myself, but behind myself, too, and falling ever further behind myself, too. Our progress has devolved into baby steps, not a proverbial slow-motion train wreck, but some slow-motion opposite, with particular emphasis on the slow motion part. Gravity itself seems to have decided to exert greater influence over our final flourishes. Our daily progress, once great forward strides, has become infinitesimal, hardly measurable, interruptible while waiting for caulking or something to dry. Try as we might, we seem to be producing ever greater Disarray while hoping it might one day just go away. We might never finish, but we're real close to done, or will be once that replacement window comes, if that ever happens.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved







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