Tuesday, September 25, 2007

To Nothing and Back

"God creates everything out of nothing - and everything which God is to use He first reduces to nothing." ~~ From 'A Keirkegaard Anthology'

This quote kept going through my head yesterday as I sanded our bedraggled wooden screen door in preparation for a bright new protective coat. I was certainly reducing the finish to nothing. It looked really ugly, at first glance, the varnish sticking in places, disappearing in others.

The grains of the wood began to rise up as I continued to carefully sand. As I exposed more of more of the surface I realized anew its intrinsic beauty. The grain was lovely, wide and red here, narrow and white there, a gorgeous, dark knot up there. I slowly ran my hand over its smooth surface pausing to examine it further.

"If only the weather wouldn't destroy this door it'd look fantastic hanging on the front porch in its natural state," I thought to myself.

But the weather would destroy it in time, darkening it with mildew, rotting its edges, and normal wear and tear would bang it up.

Knowing this, I set out to create a durably finished door, one that can efficiently and beautifully stand the test of time in a harsh environment. The grain still shows underneath the finish while the vulnerability is decreased. It is better for the door and better for those of us in need of its function for me to care for it as I do, while honoring its uniqueness.

Beauty and function.

Protected, yet exposed.

People and doors.

Reduced to nothing only to be made stronger.


Mike S said...

Few things are more lovely than a fine piece of wood:)

Marianne Elixir said...

lovely, lovely, and especially as it feels like a time of sanding for me at the moment.

tshsmom said...

That quote will be running through my head whenever I refinish another piece of wood! Beautiful thoughts!

IndianaJones said...

this is a very apt comparison...somedays if feels like I never do get around to the adding of the protective coat so the wear and tear is so much worse than it needs to be...a good reminder to get around to it already!

deanna said...

Your musings as you complete your house-improving projects bring illumination to the rest of us. Thanks for this.

Cherie said...

Mike, How right you are.

Elixer, So you are under the sander now. Ouch. But joy comes in the morning.

Tshs, Thanks! I've missed you. Glad you are back!

Summer, Good point about getting around to it already.

Deanna, Thank, friend.

white_label said...

Cherie! I appreciate you refer to Keirkegaard's words! I hardly found hem in the internet... Could you, please, tell the exact sourse of this quotation? or bibliography? I'm Russian, and I work as a translator... and there is the book that includes this statement. I would be very grateful if you wrote me back my email: alexeibelov_2001@yahoo.com). God bless you. Thank you in advance