Day: June 20, 2015

A Pause

In the heat of summer afternoon I walk into my garage. It is hot in there. Hotter than outside and the thermometer tells me that outside is ninety degrees. I walk into the garage anyway because it is almost organized and I like looking at the neat shelves where there used to be chaos. This has been Kiki’s project for the week. She’s been pulling things off shelves and laying them out where I can see them. With the things arrayed on the floor I can see that almost half of it has no use for us anymore. We’ve thrown things out and taken multiple trips to donate things to good will. There are a few shelves left, but mostly the garage is done. This makes me glad.

There are other projects that I’ll have Kiki do when the garage is done. This is her paid work for the summer. She is my assistant. I have her doing the work which I haven’t had time for. Some of it is shipping or warehouse organization. Quite a lot has been house organization. All of it has made me better able to do my job and is money well spent. Standing in the garage, my mind thinks over those things I hope for her to get done before she goes back to school. I feel an impulse to go look at the calendar, to add up the days, to calculate if there will be time. Instead I keep my feet firmly planted on the concrete steps. Either the things will get done or they won’t. No point stressing myself with schedule math on a Saturday afternoon.

I’m trying to be better about taking the days as they come. I’m trying to stay in the day I’m having rather than always running ahead in my mind. I can’t do it all the time. Part of my job is to track the schedule and plan ahead. This is true both for my publishing work and my parenting work. But surely on a Saturday afternoon I can let that go and just look at evidence of work well done instead of fretting over work yet to do.

Words I’m Thinking About

Kintsukuroi: To “repair with gold.” The art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.

When I first ran across this definition, my heart sang a little bit. Because there are times when I am broken and it helps me when I realize that sometimes “broken” is part of the process.

Tesserae: an individual tile, usually formed in the shape of a cube, used in creating a mosaic.

What the definition does not say, is that in many mosaics the tesserae are made of broken pieces of something else. It puts me in mind of the early pioneers who smashed up their fine china to be used in the building of the Kirtland temple. Sometimes things must be broken so they can become something else.

Fernweh: Feeling homesick for a place far away that you have never been.

I don’t have a specific place I’m longing for right now, but frequently I find myself wishing for a peaceful retreat in a place of beauty. Rather than trying to resolve this by running off, I’m looking at the qualities that I desire: peace and retreat, restfulness. Then I’m seeking ways to include those into the days that I have here. I’m recognizing that my fernweh has more to do with being in need of rest than a desire to be someplace else.