Faerin and I were going to provide all the labor ourselves, but we only completed the front of the house before winter set in and we had planned to restart the project in June. By June I knew I needed professional help. I hired a co-worker’s family to complete the ladder work and they did a good job. But, as my neighbor pointed out today, they didn’t do as good a job as Faerin and I did.
For us, painting was a statement, an action, a meditation on the future and our place in it. Every stroke meant something.
So yesterday I finished sealing the deck and the painting of the house was complete. For better or worse. But I still had one last paint job to complete.
Rowan brought a small trailer up from Fort Wayne. He wants it roadworthy for the trip down to Texas. We originally planned for me to make that trip with him, but that now looks very unlikely as selling this big purple house is going to be a bigger job than I’d hoped.
Anyway, a trailer. It needed cleaning and sanding and priming and painting. So I set to work. Pretty dull for the most part. Kind of exciting when I did a very lazy job of cleaning up my purple paint roller and ended up with what looked remarkably like bloody fingerprint streaks all over the white interior, but not really what I wanted my contribution to be.
So I took a brush and crawled into the back of the trailer and began to paint. Slowly I realized that I was engaged in an active meditation where my intention was on protection of the space and, by extension, the people who will travel with it.
I offered a brief prayer with each stroke, covering the unfortunately colored paint smears from the day before and visualizing safe travels. Though my thoughts would wander to the lyrics of the song playing or some bit of trivia I hadn’t yet resolved, I’d notice and return to my prayers. Service. Health. Life. Protection. Paint.
I know that I cannot magically protect my friends with my thoughts, but in a world where I feel powerless against the chaos that constantly threatens to snatch my loved ones from my grasp, this meditation, these strokes, those moments were an elixir for my soul.
May the little trailer serve and protect the collective, when I cannot.