Rendered Fat Content


Gosta Adrian-Nilsson: Soldat (1917)
" … identifying now-or-never opportunities that will most certainly extend our efforts even further …"

Our Grand Refurbishment has become an audacious act. Before we began to understand the magnitude of the effort, back when we still held trivializing notions of what it might mean to 'slap on a coat of paint,' the effort seemed only reasonable, and barely that. The place desperately needed patching and painting, and what better opportunity then when we first re-inhabit the place? Then it slowly transformed into a series of 'If Not Now, When? decisions, where, as our understanding improved and expanded, we noticed wasting opportunities presenting themselves. We understood that once the patient was closed up again, she would likely not easily consent to another operation, so, under The As Long As We Have The Hood Open Rule, we expanded the original scope. Kurt Our Painter, who was confident of completing work on the master bedroom this week, instead spent the bulk of his week re-floating two overly patched walls. The result will be rather smoother walls than in any other room, but on perhaps the two least noticeable walls in the place.

We have Seized opportunities as they presented themselves but have also felt Seized by circumstances.
It feels exhilarating to right some long-standing wrong with a sander and a paintbrush, real valiant work. The small bits I've contributed myself have seemed to enhance my sense of ownership. I also cringe a little because I understand the illusion in it, the trick the paint plays on eternally imperfect surfaces to fool the eye into perceiving perfection not actually present. A series of such commissions and an audacious act emerges. Once we're finished—if we're ever finished—we'll certainly know where all the current bodies are buried. We will have interred them ourselves.

The tool marks of prior Seizings remain. Much of our work today involves eradicating that prior interim evidence of other intrusions on the original design. We fancy our intrusions superior, though in their time, the ones we revile made just as perfect sense to them, Seized as they doubtless were, as ours do to us. I imagine them proud of their work and carrying a sense that they somehow saved the place, and they apparently did since it survived for us to take stewardship and come to no longer take anything about it for granted. I knew when we bought it that it would demand more than I could then imagine, but we were Seized by possibility. We might have married in too much haste, but once hitched we knew that we'd make good on our commitments with no real regrets, even if our efforts killed us. Such is infatuation. Such is love.

We're sleeping on the hide-a-bed in the basement, a bed in name only. My feet extend a full foot beyond the bottom and my back recalls with grievance where I spend each night. My legs feel tight. I can almost stretch out on the couch, but not quite. I experience transient Charlie horse cramps as a result. They come and go. When they come, they knock the feet our from beneath me. There's nothing for me to do then but groan and try to find an angle where the knot might find release. It's never the same way once. Sometimes it's a quick twinge, other times an extended ordeal. I consider these a cost of doing this kind of business. One day I expect to have a place to lay down again. Until then, I'll keep working, identifying now-or-never opportunities that will most certainly extend our efforts even further, for I'm still Seized by a sense of a real, once-in-a-lifetime possibility here. Obsession is always its own reward.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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