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Paul Gauguin: Vision after the Sermon (1888)
" … after gaining all the experience of fixing its eleven brothers."

The first one tends to be difficult for me to complete. I'm not even learning yet. I'm at best orienting myself, but I might be more accurately described as misleading myself, for I've gone off half cocked, without really understanding either the context or the possible solutions. I'm very likely a little frustrated and just attempting to dispatch this distraction, not yet having noticed a certain pattern to both this problem and to my default solution. The second one's usually much better. In terms of net improvement one over the other, the second probably represents the greatest improvement of the whole batch. Even if I do a dozen, no two will likely show as much improvement as the second from the first. The following ones will feature minor variations. That second one will likely prove to be a revelation representing the pattern for how I'll think that's done. I could still be wrong, but I'm feeling productive.

I know how to do very little and rely upon the stuff I fix to teach me how to fix them.
If the object is mechanical in any way, it'll be very unlikely that I will be able to do anything with it except to throw it away. Mechanical things remain sublimely mysterious to me. I cannot usually find the trick to opening them, some little cleverly designed lever I would have never suspected had a function or a purpose, if I even noticed it. The Muse will more likely spot the point of intervention and have the gizmo apart in blinding seconds where not even the appearance of a goofy-headed screw will deter her from delving deeper and probably fixing it. I'm better at just avoiding broken mechanical things.

There are few handyman shops anymore, places where one used to be able to just drop off an offending item and a professional fiddler would fix it for a fair price. We're all forced into DIY situations now, either that or just throw out the injured one and go buy a new toaster. We're forced into handy work and few of us feel very ready to pick it up. Where does one go to learn how to deal with funny-headed fasteners? Is there a rumor mill I have not yet discovered where people chat about how to service their own computers? Where does one even buy the wrenches? Further, most things tend to need fixing one at a time so there's little opportunity to develop a deeper understanding. Each one's unique with uncommon patterns. It's rare that there's more than one to learn from.

My doors, the pile of which I'm finally approaching the bottom, served as the rare exception, for they provided a dozen examples of variations on the very same problem. Gouges and wrecked mouldings and the potential for understanding fundamental principles. Repeat performances presenting the same difficulties in slightly different guises and with them, opportunities to learn something. The first one was tough. The second only somewhat better. By the fifth one, I'd started noticing a pattern so I reorganized how I approached the next one. For a time, I could work on two in parallel, but I found that distracting. By the time I reached the LastOne, I was a seasoned veteran and felt confident in my capabilities. I'd saved the worst one for last but it turned out to not seem that bad after gaining all the experience of fixing its eleven brothers.


Friday finds me figuring out the ropes on a new theme for this quarter, Homemade. I've not quite yet found the rhythm of it. I remember feeling this same way about HomeMaking when I was only a few days into the series. I wondered where I'd even find the material before the material found me. I sometimes take too much upon myself, forgetting that it's all a collaboration between unlikely partners. My doors taught me how to fix them. My writing often finds me rather than the other way around. This was an odd writing week for me. I think I might need to go back and reflect on what I've left behind.

I began my writing week explaining what I mean by
Woikin'. "I have been gainfully unemployed for so long that I no longer remember the sensation of 'having a job.' "

My most popular posting of the week talked about the cost of change as
Tolls. "We leave bits of ourselves and not just small change in the toll taker's pocket as we pass."

I wrote of sleep patterns from the past and the present in
SecondSleep. "One woke from SecondSleep not merely refreshed, but freshly enlightened, inspired, encouraged."

I noticed just how much less homey our home was feeling after two full months of Refurbishing effort in
Hash "It might be that the pursuit of Homemaking IS Homemaking, too, whether or not a sense of warm-hearth homeyness ever emerges from the effort."

I failed to forestall the arrival of Fall, but I did watch it come creeping up on us in
LastFullDay. "Threaten to take something away and that thing becomes precious. What just last week seemed infinite and endless has become finite and priceless."

I wrote about the peril of over-scheduling, of leaving one's self distanced from boredom in
Headswarming "When we wake on the other side, if there's another side and if we awaken again, we'll most long for boredom, a prominent presence during our exile and absent since we returned."

I ended my writing week by beginning a fresh series, this one a seemingly slight shift from the former, from HomeMaking to Homemade in
Homemade? "Homemade was not aspiring to replicate what any old machine might do well, but produce what only human inspiration could manifest, and that, only once, if that."

I seem to keep forgetting that I've never done any of this before and also that each one, like this one, also serves as the LastOne. I am not manufacturing anything here. I'm fabricating originals, not replicating one-offs. I should not know how before I start and should remain unprepared to create a fresh one as a result. I'm reminded of my old, now departed friend III (pronounced 'Three'), who insisted upon answering his phone differently every time he answered it. He used up "hello" a long, long time ago. Connecting with III by phone was always a little disorienting and worth the effort. I aspire to provide a similar experience. Thanks for peeking in!

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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