... at peace. 'the hell.
we're making a stepping stone pathway... which has been taken on in distracted ill-timed spurts. the path reaches the back porch of the garage but should continue around it and behind. thus the reason that we're still working on it. (and if truth be told we want these stones to take over the patio too. so who can say when 'finished' is finished.) as i scooped the concrete into the teardrop molds, my mother mashing it in and my father smoothing it out... it seemed natural, somewhat comforting: befuddling that it felt nostolgic. an easy unionized routine to fall into. this is my job, this is yours- we are working to the task together.
i paused to wipe cement mixer spatter off my cheek when it occured to me- i've been programmed to be productive. weekend after weekend, all my life of nothing but projects. clearing property, hauling yards and yards of rot, lumber, cleaning out houses, hauling lumber, constructing things, crawling around cars, pushing them this way and that, stacking parts, turning the dirt, planting, painting, spackling, hammering... project after project. i feel completely compelled to put aside my painting, my reading for the purpose of renovation. true it has my own artistic hand in what i do but it's like getting back to the word: labor.
and how much it's become a part of me, and how much i find an intrinsic value in the work of my hands with my family. rather sentimentally laboring together for something beautiful, purposeful- something: done. no matter how strenuous or grit inducing i feel filled. it's when we're at our best, fulfilling a function and a role, unconfused, communicative and inspired. when i can appreciate my father's skill, my mothers mind...
and well anyway there's a certain obligation that comes to it too, which is why with chagrin i was helping to chop wood this weekend: unload from f150, parents go get wood chopper, help shlepp logs onto splitter, stack high, clear space in backyard for the winters fuel, decide to reoraganize- get rid of tool shed, make frame for wood to sit in, clean clean clean, finally by myself haul all the wood into the back, stack stack stack... stand back with satisfaction, think: beautiful. think: well done... though as the following shows... i've never been grossed out by wood before.. but as my friend sarah says we may have accidentally chopped up an Ent... brings a whole new term to "living things"... the sap was as red as blood (repellent and inspiring) and it will burn hot, go up into smoke, return from whence it came... and my whole body is sore and tired, and the work, never done- makes me wonder when there will be a time when i will have someone to labor with- hand to foot, minds clear and quiet, raising life or making it better. possibly? bcs my parents will vanish and i feel the hint of them not being there with me, side by side working in familiar unison for all of my life and it makes me ache to know it will leave me.