I need the medium of a dream to allow for leaving loose ends. And so,
I was a house. A log cabin. I was built out of choice red cedar logs – beautiful, sturdy and exquisitely scented. I was also furnished inside, and my builders assured me that I was the best log cabin ever build – they were proud of me.
But there was a problem – nobody wanted to leave inside me. They would come in, admire the beautiful logs, inhale the aroma, sprawl out on the furniture, get comfortable. Then, after a while, they would start getting antsy. They would stop taking care of the interior, the garbage would accumulate, there would be some graffiti on the walls, and then one day they would leave, the wood stove unlit, the door open, the wind howling inside.
The builders assured me that it was a temporary problem – the Philistines that lived in the area weren’t able to appreciate the tremendous quality and comforts of the house, they felt out of place and so they left. “Wait, they told me, “one day truly worthy tenants will move in, then you will be all comfy and cozy.” In the meantime, we would toss the garbage, scrape off the graffiti, wash the floors and close the door.
I had a vague feeling that something was wrong with the house, that somehow it was built incorrectly, maybe it was uncomfortable, maybe there were some hidden flaws. Dratted builders! A bunch of incompetents trying to cover up their mistakes, and I have to live with this!
This went on for a while, many iterations, until the dream changed. Tenants stayed. Grumbled by stayed.
Now I was the builder.
One day, there was a whole pile of materials in front of me, under a tarp. I lifted the tarp, and there it was – lots of gorgeous red cedar logs, to build my own house. Halleluja! Now, I get to be the builder! I will set about it with determination, I’ll devote my life to it, it will be perfect. There are not going to be any flaws. I will create, and will get better as I go along. Here is my chainsaw, here is my hammer, I am all set, all I need to do is whistle a happy tune and get to it.
But wait, the logs are wrong size! They are too wide – never mind, I can grind them down to make them more slender. Just like Pinocchio’s nose, they don’t grind down, they keep fattening up again! Must keep grinding! Oh, and they don’t seem to fit together in a perfect way I have envisioned. Here is a hole right here – let’s cut this one log and plug it! That looks good, now for the window frames. Hey, a thunderstorm started – how am I supposed to keep building in this weather! And look, the water washed the gravel out from underneath one corner, what do I do now? Right, I needed to put the foundation in first. I think I can see the cinder block right behind the logs. OK, never mind, we’ll retrofit the foundation.
Oops, another pile of material. Well, I hope the logs are going to be the right size now. Open the tarp – what the heck? It is not even logs… It’s stones! Try the chainsaw on those – hmm, the chain broke. Never mind, let’s replace that chain and get a sledgehammer. I will make a log cabin out of you yet, and the best one at that. Stained glass windows? What exactly do I need those for? Let’s glue the stones together and trim them so that they make nice logs. It is not working! Arrrgh!
What? Another pile of materials? What is happening here? Slender two by fours? Gingerbread? What kind of log cabin is this? How am I supposed to build under these conditions? Hey, my other two projects are throwing logs and rocks at each other! Come on, I’m going to get crushed now!
Why is it not working out! I am working so hard, I am spending all day every day trying to fit the pieces together. Has anyone done this before? Looks like there is more to building a house then hard work and good intentions. Oh, here, instructions on how to build a log cabin. Start with digging a big hole. Well, that would require a shove. No, that’s a small hole. A backhoe? How am I supposed to know how to operate a backhoe?
Oh, turns out you don’t build log cabins out of stones. Turns out you make Gothic cathedrals out of those. That’s what the stained glass windows are for. The gingerbread is supposed to with a Victorian house. I need a plan.
Who brought these materials here, anyway? Maybe there was a plan to go with them? Oh yeah, here it is, in a little chest that I moved out of the way in my hurry to get building. Nice set of plans… What do all these symbols mean? List of tools? I only have a couple out of what is mentioned. I’ll get more. No instructions on how to use them… An address of the library, though. Go there and try to figure it out?
Maybe my builders weren’t that incompetent. I wonder, did they get the plan? I don’t remember them having a great toolbox. Handsaw, hammer, a piece of rope to measure, a hand shovel. They did the best with the tools they had. Maybe if I spend some time in the library, pay attention, figure out what tools I need and how to use the, and learn to follow the plan, I could fix the booboos I made. Maybe I can even figure out the flaws of my own construction and ways of repairing them.
What is this little piece of paper? Address of the Architect? Should try to get in touch…