With my foray into men’s sheds I decided, as a warm up, to try and install shelving in my garage. I would get to use an electric drill, chisels, an electric saw and a hammer. Above all, it would give me an opportunity to get the feel of being in ‘a shed’. A man’s dream come true. I would get saw dust in my hair and dirt under my finger nails. H. would be so proud of me. All that staring at a computer screen has made me lose sight of the real essentials of life. Making things happen with my hands. I would regain my real inner self, my proud manhood. I’ll be beating my hairy chest once again. Like I used to.
I found my tape measure and wrote down the timber length needed for the shelving. The shelving would fit between brick piers of the garage wall. I needed to find space to store the tools needed to build the shelving. I know this sounds a bit circular but a man needs shelving to store his tools needed to build the shelving. No cost would be spared. I would use cedar wood all dressed to a butter smooth finish. My chisels, electric tools and hammer would feel nicely cared for, even after I have gone.
Last week during a ferocious hail storm twister, a huge branch of a Manchurian tree broke. It fell across the driveway hitting the roofs of the opposite town-houses. Someone must have called the Emergency Rescue squad even though no one was actually pinned down under the tree. A few sturdy men in fluoro jackets turned up very quickly.
They had large lettering printed on the back of their jackets indicating their status as Rescue experts. They wore helmets and ear-muffs. They carried and exuded authority and a large chainsaw. In little time the fallen tree was cut into small pieces and dragged away from the drive-way. They would have extremely proud wives and partners. Have I missed my vocation? I too could have been a chainsaw carrying emergency Rescuer. Instead, I am nothing but a fiddler in a shed building shelves to store tools to build shelves.
Even so, no good fretting and regretting of what could have been. I could just as easily have ended up sleeping rough or living a life without a hammer. I drove to the Home timber yard and had 6 cedar shelves cut. They measured 1020 mm long by 190mm wide.
I remember reading of a man who built his own coffin. He put this coffin in his lounge room. He did not want anyone else to be responsible for his own death. He felt that at least he could ‘own’ his own death.He also built the two trestles that the coffin was resting on. Truly a diligent man. I have rarely heard anything even close to someone having that kind of foresight. I can well imagining him waking up each morning satisfied that ‘all was now in order’. Perhaps he even tried it out occasionally. Perhaps while watching TV or listening to a Mozart concert. There too would have been saw dust on the floor and dirt under his fingers.
He had found himself.