Saturday, October 11, 2014
Repairs Late in the Learning
Who knew? All these years, walking on the back patio, or stepping up to the front door, and never noticing that someone had previously gone to the trouble to caulk the cracks that develop between the bricks and the concrete. Why would they have done that? The question would not have occurred to whomever I was in the past. But in recent months, the presence of those cracks has been seeping into my thoughts, until finally a few days ago I found the tranquility within to stop, and to ponder said cracks with a sense of foreboding. I began to worry about the rain, and how it might seep into those cracks, and freeze in the winter, expanding the cracks and loosening the bricks. How did I make it through ten years without worrying that the front steps might be corrupted beyond repair by these silent forces of entropy?
Thank you, imagination, for your intimations of impending infrastructural decay, for I rode their power directly to the neighborhood hardware store, there to buy caulk to load into my caulk gun and apply with much haste and some precision, in the fading light, with rain and winter fast approaching.
And how could I have lived so many years, in a lifelong pursuit of knowledge, and yet remained unaware that a bicycle chain stretches over time, thereby wearing down the derailer, which is really spelled derailleur, which is all the gears in back, that then need to be replaced along with the chain at considerable expense, all because I had no idea there were consequences for not replacing a bike chain periodically? This, actually, can be explained: Because I never before lived in a town where all that I needed was within biking distance, and so hadn't before had occasion to wear out a bike chain.
Speaking of caulkguns, a proposed slogan, to update "from swords to ploughshares": "From guns to caulkguns". And begin by melting down those army surplus armored vehicles from Iraq, rather than giving them to police departments. "From guns to caulkguns, the better to mend the deepening cracks in the world."
Fully adapted quote:
And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their guns into caulkguns, and their assault rifles into loppers: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.—Isaiah 2:3–4 (the retrofitted version).
Posted by Stephen Hiltner