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"Building" a Table

In the "Cult of Escapism": "Building" a Table

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Building" a Table

(From July 9th)

I “built a table” today. At least, the end product looks vaguely like a table if you squint at it from a distance. It also looks more like a table if you face it, close your eyes, and imagine a real table. But whatever, at this very moment, there are things on top of it, so I consider that some kind of victory.

One of my 2011 New Year's resolutions was to build a chair. My dad heard about this and, as a former carpenter's apprentice, pointed out that a chair is difficult to make and that I could probably use a table more anyway, since I have the carpentering ability of a four year old and don't have much table space in my cooking area. He suggested that in May of last year and, like almost every New Year's resolution ever created by anyone, I didn't do it that year. This year, I changed tactics and didn't make any resolutions. And hey! I built the table.

The "table"

With only three months left of service, my focus has narrowed to just a few core projects, both in and out of my site. I'm not taking on any big new commitments, because there wouldn't be any point, which means that my down time in site now really is down. For most of my service, I would feel guilty on days without work and scramble to try and do something “productive.” I don't feel that guilt anymore. I have enough on my calendar to ease my insecurity and am finally perfectly content when I spend a whole day puttering around my house, between my hammock and my stove. However, I've been doing this for the last few days and was getting a little restless (not motivated to find work, mind you, just restless). Enter table building.

I've had enough found wood set aside to make a table for months and I finally pulled out the old saw and hammer and got to work. With rock music bumping from my tiny, fading speakers and a pen behind my ear (because carpenters always have a pencil behind their ear), I “built” that table.

Counter space
Let me explain those quotations I keep putting around “built.” One leg doesn't quite touch the ground, which I suppose makes the table about 75% the table that it could be. I ran out of properly sized nails about half way through, so most of the table is held together by nails that just barely unite the two pieces of wood. Despite measuring before I began, when I placed the new table next to my old one, to expand the counter space as intended, the new table was a flush two inches above the old one.

But hey, I have that counter space that I wanted and I didn't pay a dime. And I killed what would have been a boring morning. Just don't ever, whatever you do, stand on that table. I guarantee it will fall apart.  


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