Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Spirituality of Home Repair

Yesterday I wrote a blog post about home repair, its difficulties and what those experiences can teach us.  Along the way I began to formulate ideas about the spirituality of home repair.  I began to think about writing a book.

It could be the kind of book that would teach people about different kinds of religions along the way.  Let me daydream:

Zen and the Art of Home Repair:  Accept the fact that the tile has already broken in the place you did not want it to break.  Let go of your expectations of how the project will look at the end.

Christianity and the Art of Home Repair:  Home repair teaches us a lot about forgiveness and the need to ask for forgiveness.  Home repair teaches us about how/why the quest for the perfect paint color will ultimately leave us empty and thirsting for something else, why the work is never really finished, and how it helps to have a team of friends.

Existentialism and the Art of Home Repair:  Why do plumbing parts so rarely work with the first attempt? Why are there so many different finishes in faucets--except for the one you need? If so many other tools and pieces of equipment can be made in a cordless version, why not a cordless vacuum?  What does it mean that these projects will never last, that we will have to redo them again and again and again until we're dead.

Feminism and the Art of Home Repair:  What does it mean that we'll get better service at Home Depot if we show up in a dress than if we show up dirty in our home repair clothes?  Why, after all these decades of feminism has no company made tools that fit a smaller hand without sacrificing precision and power?

Atheism and the Art of Home Repair:  There is no God.  There is no one protecting us, as water breaks the pipes to cascade down the stairs, as we saw off parts of our body by mistake, as we touch the wrong wires together.

Clearly, I can't do as much with other world religions, like Islam and Judaism, at least not now. Of course, in some ways, this is an exercise in silliness.  I'm not going to write such a book.  I have so many possible projects to write. I will need to live to be 120, with every year a productive writing year, to write the books that I can already picture in my head. That's if I have no more ideas between now and then.

So, if you want to steal my idea, feel free. You'd likely write a different book than mine anyway.  If I live to be 120, we can compare notes.

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