Sunday, July 29, 2012

The joy of completion

Here, as promised, are the pictures of my goose project, which I finally completed yesterday. It's been quite an adventure creating this, with lots of changes and adaptations along the way; the final challenge was the discovery that, once mounted, the wings tended to flare downward (see the first image below). Fortunately a solution came to me in the shower, and yesterday afternoon found me out shopping for beads and buttons to complete the project.


I have to say I spent more time and energy on this goose than I have on almost any other invention I've undertaken, so it's nice, at the end, to be pleased with the finished project.  It seems clear its sale is unlikely to bring anything like what I put into it -- materials will probably be covered (if it sells) but the time... well, the reward for the time won't be in money, will it!  The reward for the time is the fun of imagining, creating, and the final fruition.

And there's a lesson in that, isn't there?  As I grow older, I realize -- if I look at my parents' passing -- there's not all that much time left to make whatever mark on life I need or want or am destined to make.  As Alan Jones says in Soul Making, death is becoming a companion, a friend. 

But "to live our life from the point of view of our death is not necessarily a capitulation to despair, to withdrawal, to passivity.  Rather, it can become the basis for our being and doing in the world... enabling us to live every single moment with new appreciation and delight.  When I say to myself, "This moment may be my last," I am able to see the world with new eyes."

... "If we sit still and really listen to it," he continues, speaking of what life in yesterday's cell has to teach us, "the fact of our own death will come to us with clarity and freshness.  Attention to the voice will force us to experience our fragility, futility, and creatureliness.  We will be confronted with the emptiness, terror, and formlessness that lies deep in the heart... [but] to the believer, this vast inner emptiness is nothing less than the dwelling place of God."

In my experience, that vast inner emptiness is exactly the place from which projects like this one, adventures which challenge the brain, busy the body, and fill the heart with pleasure, arise.  And for that, I have to say, I am and will always be eternally grateful.