Sunday, December 21, 2014

Meaningful Work

My largest painting to date: the cottage and deck. 

All year long, I wait for those three precious months - June, July, August. In years past, free time in summer was spent hiking, kayaking, bicycling, running, painting. But not this year.

This was a summer of devotion. Hour after hour - before work, after work, all weekend, every weekend - no radio, no distractions, just listening to the sounds of the neighborhood and my mind's griping, as I scraped, primed, and painted.

Whenever I'd find myself beginning to despair, I'd "pranam to the guru" - surrender to the job that needed to be done. This brought peace. Time passed without anxiety. Situational awareness was like meditation: moving the ladder, setting it's feet, balancing high above the ground, avoiding power lines and stinging wasps. Working until I was too hungry, or tired, or it was too dark to see.

First completed: deck, planters, and railing.
Scraping by hand, inch by inch, each face of the building, over and over.

The south side had always been prone to blistering.
The solution: paint at the end of a dry sunny day,
after the wood has cooled.
Found this tool in a Newtown paint store and HAD to buy it!
Setting ladder feet into a rocky slope was a precarious challenge.

Even with the hot muggy New England weather, a respirator and mask were essential.

My belovéd Aunt Helen worked for Mine Safety (MSA) long, long ago.
She was a quality control inspector,
overseeing the production of gas masks.
Miss you Helen! 

Nearing completion: new molding around the door, and a new light overhead.

HOME SWEET HOME

And so the intimate connection to this place that I've been calling home for so long, continues to deepen. It's nothing fancy, but it is close to my heart. May the universe forgive me for being so attached. But there's something special about a home: if you take care of it, it will certainly take care of you.

And now the year 2014 draws to a close, and I look back and cherish the results of this summer's efforts. Hmm, think I'll fix myself a drink, get the fireplace going, put my feet up and listen to one of the best storytellers I know: Snap Judgement.

Peace be with you all in this holiday season. 
Love Everybody,
 - Nancy Boudreau

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