Rendered Fat Content


Lee Krasner: Self-Portrait, ca. 1928
"Flurries produce closure …"

This last week in October falls in a Flurry time. When we lived along Colorado's Front Range, we'd reliably see snow flurries this week. Down here in this lovely valley, flurries of leaves visit long before snow. This year of The Great Refurbish, the Flurry comes with an impending end to the effort, and it seems true with all effort, that the final push tends to become hectic. We've become lemmings now, not precisely anxious to make that final leap, but somehow compelled to jump en mass. Tiny tails remain from many of the individual tasks and these, alone, would naturally distill into a clog of activity. I've been struggling for a week to mount the first of a dozen lock sets on refurbished doors, a task I'd earlier presumed would naturally prove trivial. In practice it became non-trivial and necessitated a whole new thread, disrupting flow as I'd earlier imagined it. Window locks, which were on back order when I submitted the order three months ago, remain undelivered. Installing them will doubtless become a Flurry once they arrive and they will most certainly arrive at an inconvenient time, a point where my time's already spoken for and I cannot fit another blessed thing into my schedule. These remain perfectly normal aspects of an impending ending, an inevitable swirl, a Flurry.

We wisely planned on proceeding through this refurbish at if not a leisurely pace, then at least at a reasonable one.
We chose not to be in any big hurry because hurry proves unsustainable. A push always eventually comes to a shove, and pushing and shoving can't help but influence the quality of the result as well as the quality of the experience for those producing the result. A rush guarantees an exhilaration degrading into exhaustion. We declared that we would not work weekends and we've largely respected that boundary, though Our Painter Kurt insisted upon working a few hours in our absence last weekend to finish up a room, a perfectly timed preface to this final phase where Flurries quite naturally emerge. Former boundaries will no longer be respected through the upcoming Flurry.

The windows came in, This means that our focus must shift. The two rooms so far unaffected by the Refurbish now come into range. The room where I sit at this very minute, the one I fled to after my office was overtaken as storage for all the other upstairs rooms, is slated for demolition next. This means that even this piano bench I've been using as a desk for the last few weeks will become inaccessible by next week. I'm hopeful that this giant three dimensional tile puzzle might allow some shifting up in my office before the window phase kicks into gear, but as near as I can tell, we have a Flurry of finishing activity up there before I can think about reinhabiting my space. The garage is still filled with baseboards and as of yesterday, four sixteen foot crown moldings, freshly painted. The garage's outside Wi-fi range. Maybe I'll move onto the porch for a few days. Flurries tend to produce displacements.

While the products of our Refurbishment tend to be three dimensional solids, the means by which we produce those tend more toward abstract expressionism. They are an inside joke, governed by an internal rhythm all their own. Any outside observer might find themself confused by our sequencing, the apparent illogic of our workflow. A project, they'd rightly presume, should feature a logical sequence of events while ours might seem more open-ended. We have been steadily trending toward if not precisely targeting. Yes, we have been making up our path as we went along and yes, we have absorbed some amount of rework as a result, but the logic of completion did not exist in the nature of our canvas. We were forced to experiment, to test and compare. We also changed our minds about where we were heading as our trajectory became clearer. Now, nearing an ending, a magnetic attraction starts pulling. An inexorable's coming. Wherever logic ruled our efforts up to now is about to become disrupted. A breeze destined to become a mighty wind stirs the leaves and threatens to produce a swirl, the aftermath of which will doubtless leave a bit of mess for us to clean up. Flurries produce closure but at some peripheral price.


The Muse took a whole week off work. I took four days, my first away on work days since we started The Great Refurbish sixteen weeks ago. Progress continued in my absence, though I imagine not quite in as good of order as it might have had I not strayed. Still, it seemed a respite, our hotel room not disassembled as everything around The Villa has been for months. We collected the new light fixture for the upstairs landing and reconnected with grandkids and son, all calm-before-the-storm activities. Now, it promises to get hairier.

I began my writing week puttering with
Thises&Thatsesses. I suspect that I might have riled the gods when I suggested that "This project's contained now and finishable with relative baby steps. No grand campaigns left to wage." That kind of talk was bound to get a Flurry started!

I failed to talk myself out of taking a break from The Grand Refurbishment in
Bivouac. "Allegories tend to expand to fill the space at hand."

I spoke of SacredContext, a concept well known to each of us. We can change much, but never change an essence. "We do not ever successfully change SacredContext. It exists to change us."

My most popular posting of this period recounted my relationship with home, not Home Sweet Home, but HomeBitterHome instead. "Home is a fiction capable of fooling almost anyone into believing it exists, especially with people like Stephen Foster writing sentimental songs about it. "Be it ever so humble … There's no place like home." Truer words might have never been spoken or more widely misinterpreted."

I ranted a bit over a Production that The Muse and I witnessed. "We're each Homemade and not really competing here for most overwhelming Production. The value we actually bring is always a solo contribution, …"

I caught myself engaging in an effort I knew almost nothing about, one that rendered me a
Novitiate. "They tend to be virgins who still subscribe to the fuzzy bunny and stork principles of human procreation."

I ended my writing week by drawing inadvertent blood with
StabWounds, just as if I was making good on my prior day's assessment of my preparedness for whatever I was doing. I related StabWounds to learning. "I learned in school to strongly prefer the StabWounds I'd inflict upon myself to the StabWounds learning to avoid self-inflicted StabWounds produced."

And so ended the last placid week we'll see around here for the next few weeks. Seeing the end of The Great Refurbish coming does not mean that I can accurately assess just how much work remains. In volume, whatever that means, the remainder seems more modest than what we've already completed, but I'm hardly competent to assess whatever's remaining. I'm confident that I'll be experiencing continuing distracting Thises&Thatsesses, frustrating Bivouacing, the intrusive influence of SacredContext, a certain lingering bitterness, off-putting Production values, my own antics as a continuing Novitiate, while suffering a few fresh StabWounds. This will very likely continue to be a learning experience which means that it will quite naturally be riddled with mistakes and produce some scars. Thank you for following along beside me through this time and into the upcoming Flurry.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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