I emerged from the primordeal ooze thousands of years ago, but my current incarnation emerged from my mother in 1980. I've lived in Michigan all my life, except for a far-too-brief 5 month stint in England. I'm a Juris Doctor, now, and in Chicago, working for a not for profit organization.
You don't want the children to know how afraid you are. You want to be sure their hold on life
is steady, sturdy. Were mothers and fathers always this anxious, holding the ringing
receiver close to the ear: Why don't they answer; where could they be? There's a conspiracy
to protect the young, so they'll be fearless, it's why you travel—it's a way of trying
to let go, of lying. You don't sit in a stiff chair and worry, you keep moving.
Postcards from the Alamo, the Alhambra. Photos of you in Barcelona, Gaudi's park
Swirling behind you. There you are in the Garden of the master of the Fishing Nets, one red
tree against a white wall, koi swarming over each other in the thick demoralized pond.
You, fainting at the Buddhist caves. Climbing with thousands on the Great Wall,
Wearing a straw cap, a backpack, a year before the students at Tiananmen Square.
Having the time of your life, blistered and smiling. The acid of your fear could eat the world.
Putting in a Window John Brantingham
Carpentry has a rhythm that should never be violated. You need to move slowly, methodically, never trying to finish early, never even hoping that you'd be done sooner. It's best if you work without thought of the end. If hurried, you end up with crooked door joints and drafty rooms. Do not work after you are annoyed just so the job will be done more quickly. Stop when you begin to curse at the wood. Putting in a window should be a joy. You should love the new header and the sound of your electric screwdriver as it secures the new beams. The only good carpenter is the one who knows that he's not good. He's afraid that he'll ruin the whole house, and he works slowly. It's the same as cooking or driving. The good cook knows humility, and his soufflé never falls because he is terrified that it will fall the whole time he's cooking. The good driver knows that he might plow into a mother walking her three-year old, and so watches for them carefully. The good carpenter knows that his beams might be weak, and a misstep might ruin the place he loves. In the end, you find your own pace, and you lose time. When you started, the sun was high and now that you're finished, it's dark. Tomorrow, you might put in a door. The next day, you'll start on your new deck.