My girlfriend and I have been building a table this past month. On the weekends, I’ve essentially been taking shop class 101. We found a slab of wood on our way back from a ski weekend up in VT, and with the help of crafty friends, we’re close to having a dining room table.
Thankfully, I’m dating an engineer. Where I see in pretty colors and shapes, she sees in numbers. Creativity meets practicality and functionality. In terms of the sexuality spectrum, my friends inform me that building a table has pushed me beyond the point of return in terms of “lezzy behavior.” My cousin and her wife recently built a coffee table, so I’ve pretty much entered into full on lesbian competition. Who’s table is bigger? Size matters.
The sanding process has been enlightening. As you sand away the man-made lines created from the slab’s retrieval, the material returns to a state closer to it’s original self. I once was told I should go to bed each night reflecting on the day and ask myself if my actions during the day brought me closer or further away from my self. I try making choices that bring me closer to myself, each day, slowly learning how to sand away the influences and impressions of others that don’t suit me. As a writer, I get notes about each scene needing to propel the character forward, revealing to the audience who this character is. Each scene must serve a purpose.
Life’s choices lead us to actions, and those actions should propel us forward in a narrative we’ve carefully thought about. Otherwise we’re just mindlessly wandering. I’m a huge fan of a good wander and wonder session, but I’m a firm believer in taking those sessions and applying them to action.
As we chisel away excess that doesn’t serve the table, and stain the piece to highlight it’s natural beauty, our table is getting closer and closer to it’s state of perfection. The table will never be “perfect,” but in it’s imperfection with it’s individual nuances, it’s an original that will achieve it’s own state of perfection being that it is it’s own true original.
As our own originals with unique personalities, all we can do is chisel away that that doesn’t serve us, and strive towards our own version of perfection, building our unique narrative each day, and reflecting upon that story each night.