Friday, April 22, 2005

at day's end

It's evening now and I have had a long day on my feet, making plans and measurements for bathroom refittings and other home improvements. All around me have been DIY and handyman concerns, images, tools, materials, language and conversations. This is the tool for the job. This is how to make ... This is where to find ... All of it is practical advice and know-how.

What story or stories guide the handyman or handywoman through the day? Trial and experience are paramount. The wise ones, the gurus, are the ones with experience. Book learning counts for very little in this domain of interest. You become good at putting up shelves when you've put up a thousand of them. Initiation continues to function through word of mouth and following the practises of the experienced gurus.

There's nothing like a DIY project to get you going and keep you inspired from day to day. It doesn't need to be practical, though. That would be too limiting. There was this crazy Biblical character called Noah who built himself a large ship on land for no apparent purpose. Until the flood waters rose and carried him and his family away to safety, along with all those beasts in pairs.
These spiritual window-shoppers,
who idly ask, 'How much is that?' Oh, I'm just looking.
They handle a hundred items and put them down,
shadows with no capital.

What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.
But these walk into a shop,
and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment,
in that shop.

Where did you go? "Nowhere."
What did you have to eat? "Nothing much."

Even if you don't know what you want,
buy something, to be part of the exchanging flow.

Start a huge, foolish project,
like Noah.

It makes absolutely no difference
what people think of you.

Rumi, 'We Are Three', Mathnawi VI, 831-845

And so, full circle, I am back with Rumi and the idea of inspiring stories or projects that get one through each day. I bought a lot of material to make things and I've made a commitment to this current spiritual project.
Stick with it, stay alive
Stay away from things contrived
True to heart, true to soul
Let some great project be your goal.



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