Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fixin things

Snapshots of my life from this summer  (Sometimes picture say it better than I can)
My sister Sarah, Bessie, and me. We went tubing down the Spanish fork river. Twas kinda scary!
A friend and myself exploring an old building.

My sister and I recording music at Mc3 studios. (well I'm not in the picture because I'm taking it)
Listening to what we sound like.

making music. 

Me, my niece Ruth, my sister, Bess (At my nieces, Alina's wedding)

Just a pretty sunset.

 My nieces wedding( We were all working on decorating their car)


Waiting for the bride and groom.

 (I'll try to post more pictures later)


It's nice you've stopped by for a chat. It's been a while. Yes.
But I haven't forgotten you, my friend.
And that is what you are. 
A friend.
I've been meaning to chat with you for some time now, but forces stronger than my keyboard got in the way.

And what forces?

The heat.
Writing. Yes writing got in the way too. Writing in my book. 
Oh, and I did say heat? Hmmm. I did. But I'll say it again.
Yes the heat. It cooked the computer I inherited from my sister. At least I think that's what happened.
 May it rest in peace. Rip. George the second. The poor old thing was running slower than my first laptop, George the first. And that's saying a lot.
George the first, my laptop, never truly died. He just got old and went to the rehabilitation center for the elderly.

I was stranded to say the least in the middle of two books, and two book covers. I've been working like crazy to get both of my books out at the same time. But all that came to a dead halt. 
My computer was utterly dead. It wouldn't even load windows.  My books and all my files were floating somewhere in my external hard drive.  I felt totally discombobulated. 
However, I guess as chance would have it, George the first was younger than George the second. My brother was awesome and rehabilitated my old laptop just enough for me to use it----however long it wills to live.
Let's hope it has a long life.
 All in all, after a few weeks, everything is now back to working order.
Life is quite funny that way. Nothing is as simple as you first think. The month of July was seriously just a month of fixing broken things.
Our pipes in our house went out. By went out, I mean corroded and started leaking. It was an awful mess. My brother and sister went to work fixing it, buying new pipes and such. (me, I'm not so good with pipes)
Then after the pipes got it all fixed, the water heater went out.

Then the pipes burst again.

Our water into the house was suddenly cut off once more.
While my brother was trying to figure out was wrong, I learned what it is like to live without water for while.
Ah, water. The life giving source, something both kings and peasants need to survive.


 I gained a new appreciate for water especially when it was 100 degrees outside. I suddenly appreciated all the times I could wash my hands, every time I could flush the toilet, every time I could take a hot shower, every time I was able to do dishes, yes now appreciate doing dishes---but don't tell anyone I said that.

Yes. Being without water was most horrible.
By horrible I mean simmering toilets left to ruminate without being flushed.
Dishes piling up in the sink.
Sticky, sweaty bodies that wanted baths.
No water = no air conditioners. 
Shall I say more?
I woke up to the smell of pee wafting out of our bathrooms, pungent and disturbing.
Zero water in the tap.
Smoldering dishes piling high.
Oh the woe. I was feeling as though I was living in slum ville.
Unable to fix the pipes or the water heater my myself, and unsure what to do. And unable to control much of anything in the water department, I decided to load up all the dishes and wash them outside (the water still worked outside in our garden taps)

I didn't want to do dishes in full view of passing traffic on our road, so I tucked myself in an obscure part of the front yard---not very visible to onlookers, and began the task of washing dishes. I felt very conspicuous doing dishes outside. I didn't want anybody to see me. I felt odd and foolish. 
I mean, who does dishes outside? 
Only me. 
But I was determined that if I didn't do anything else that day, I would wash those dishes. I got a cooler, and filled it full of cold, soapy water. Then I set about scrubbing dishes, soaking pots, and spraying pans out with the hose.  By the time I was done, I was wet and soggy. But the dishes were clean, and in record time. I surmised that washing dishes outside wasn't so bad after all. I got to be out in nature. Washing things with a hose was actually faster. All in all I was proud of what I had accomplished. 

Funny thing was that almost at the same time I finished washing the very last dish, my brother announced that he had got the problem fixed. 

Had I waited just a little while longer I would have deprived myself of feeling like an idiot washing dishes in our front yard. 

Grrr. (Shrugs) I guess I learned something very important. That dishes can be done, anywhere. You just have to take initiative.

Oh yes, and on the fourth of July we also had a huge wind burst that knocked down a tree-sized  branch in our yard. And by huge I mean gigantic---so big that we needed a chainsaw to get it off our property.

But our chainsaw wasn't working. That put me in a sour mood. I was worried that we'd have this huge log become a permanent part of our lawn decor forever.

Lucky for us our neighbors saw our predicament and helped us out. They came and chopped up the tree and helped haul off the branches faster than you can say, chainsaw.  I will always be grateful for that kind gesture.  

Sometimes you can't do things on your own, and you have to have help. And it's nice to know that help will be there when you need it. 

There were other things that broke down, tires that went kaput. My computer mouse bit the dust. But by having so many broken things at once we learned a whole lot about fixing things. And once you know how to fix something that's broken, you feel quite empowered. 

The problem is, being brave enough to trust yourself to try and fix whatever is broken. So often in life we are afraid to try something because we might fail, because we might look silly or stupid. 

But broken things, unlike new, shiny things don't ask for perfection. 
I don't know about you, but perfection always stresses me out. It puts me in a groove that makes me feel rigid, and unbending. To have the pressure of being perfect makes me mess up time and time again. Makes me feel afraid to branch out into the unknown, makes me feel incapable of trying something new, for fear of failing.

However, to have the option to fail, helps me to succeed---helps me to be better, perform better, write better, sing better, and do better! 
Broken things are that to me.
They ask that we merely look. That we see what others cannot. And if we fail, we fail. That is it. We haven't ruined anything by trying.
That's what's nice about broken things, if they're broken (really broken) you don't really loose anything by trying to fix it yourself. If you make it worse, who cares, it's broken anyway. Nobody will be any the wiser.

 However, if you roll up your sleeves, study, learn, and then tinker around, and it does work, then you will have learned something about yourself, and the thing you fixed. You will have empowered yourself, so that when others need your help, or you see something that needs doing, you won't be afraid to try. You will have faith in your ability to test, and probe, and look, and try. 

Yes. There is hidden value in such overlooked broken things. People included.  My sister fixed a 100 year-old violin, one experts said was ready for the trash.  But because it was broken, and because nobody else thought it was worth anything, she rolled up her sleeves and gave new life to that violin. She studied and learned how to fix it. She took it apart piece by piece, and then put it back together. 

She gave it a voice that had been silenced for years, a voice that was resonant, and rich, and beautiful---a sound far better than a violin she had paid several hundred dollars for. 

Yes, the power in broken things is far underestimated, and overlooked much like that broken violin. 
 Fixing broken things may take a lot of work, but because they are broken, and because nobody wants them, you find yourself a kind of power you would have never known. 

Yes there is still much untapped music in broken things, things people often overlook and throw away. 
Broken people too, people who are different, cast out, and often overlooked, and misjudged. I have seen it over and over in my life. In obscure places you may find the answers you are looking for. In places that people rarely bother to look. 

Yes there is value in so much more than the ostentatious, the loud, the glitter, the shiny, the great sounding symbols of life that beg for you to worship at their feet. It is those kinds of things and people that often blind us to the beautiful truths that surround us every day. 

We just have to trust ourselves enough to try, to look, and to believe that we too are far more powerful than we realize. Who knows what music you will awake in yourself and others around you. 

As always, 
your friend

This is a picture of the violin my sister fixed. 


P.S. I came across this video and wanted to share it. It's a great video. This guy always has some wonderful thoughts.

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