The shed metaphor

A productive weekend over, now it’s back to the grind of another week. It’s a Monday morning heading for 9 o’clock and I’m reflecting on the last two days.
I spent the weekend ordering my life, more literally the shed. Now the shed is a sacred place, a sort of elephant’s graveyard where the bones of the elephants in the room lay in piles. In amongst the piles of 12 month old newspapers and the mouldering stench of the old tattered rugs dispensed with long ago. Now if someone had seen the inside of this sacred space, they would have thought a hoarder had moved in.
The state of it was indeed a metaphor for a time, years in fact, when I was directionless and lost. Pile of old fans and heaters that got left behind in the Summer to Winter cycle. Bags of old linen for beds that we no longer have, bagged up and shot in a corner as there’s no place for it in the shed yet.
I began by sorting out the big stuff. Fans, a steam mop we never use anymore, more fans, videotapes we no longer play finding treasures amongst the Cobwebs and dust. The rules of the game were simple, like eating an Elephant; One mouthful at a time. Pick a square meter and be thorough. Along the way things turn up, containers and sorting trays that you put aside to help deal with the little stuff later. If it’s camping stuff put it here, if it’s tools there and if its rubbish add it in the pile in the backyard that is now visible from space.
Garden equipment goes in the other shed down the back corner of the property. Now that has a whole bunch of issues by itself, but it’s away from the house and I can deal with it later. It can house the stuff that will survive a leaking tin shed.
Back in the main shed I find concrete, under the leaves, the bolts, the nails and screws. Under the rags and plastic bags, the paper and dirt. Under the bits and bobs sorted into the sorting trays I had set aside earlier. Concrete. Bare floor. Meter by square meter I reclaimed the concrete from the chaos and beat back the forces of Entropy. The shed would live again.
No longer an elephant’s graveyard but restored to a new life, with purpose and order. It was like ordering my thoughts and letting the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder have its wicked way with me.
What brought me to this point of clarity?
On Friday night I stayed up all night writing, thinking, writing some more. Two thousand words that bridged a whole lot of gaps that I was having trouble crossing. It felt great to do a few pages of new writing. I burned down a building, killed a few superfluous characters and unleashed a psychopathic Pyromaniac with Pyrokinesis on an unsuspecting world. Immortal Darkness, the sequel to Parallel is coming along nicely thank you for asking.
Saturday I did some gardening, removing a tenacious weed called nut grass from the prospective vege patch. This insidious weed makes chains of peanut sized nodes that are connected by thin wiry roots that break if you pull on them. If you miss one peanut it will only be a matter of weeks till they’re out of control again.
As I finished with this tedious, though strangely clarifying activity, I went to put the tools away, and the whole shed thing started.
All of this organizing, preceded by a burst of creative energy and seasoned with a good dose of sleep deprivation, makes me think too deeply about things.
The whole weekend was a kind of a metaphor, you know. Tell me what you think it means…
Chris K

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