Friday, April 23, 2021

As the Mind Goes (around the bend)!

Yesterday found me looking blank in my daughter's house. I needed a particular screw-driver, which I was sure must be there. I was sure I hadn't given it away. I needed it to fit into a smallish lock hole for the deadbolt I was installing at my other daughter's house. 

Neither of them really want me prowling around, pulling drawers or looking in boxes. Both of them laughed at how my appearance so perfectly fit my being. Lost, confused, frustrated, and unproductive. I'd already searched every place where I was fully entitled. Gone!

Like my mind, my tools are distributed and attenuated and I spend a lot of time looking for lost or misplaced items. A book to lend my daughter, which I must have already lent. A quote that I can't place. 

Before giving up and hitting the local Ace Hardware for a new screwdriver, my daughter with the deadbolt and I went searching for the Leatherman I'd given her. It might have worked to solve the immediate problem  She caught my disease.

She was spent from her last Zoom class of the semester where she did shed tears in front of her students. We took a ride along the squalling lake. Both of us needed an outing.

The thing about that Leatherman is that I'd lost and found it before, and that somewhat miraculously. I'd carried it aboard an airplane by mistake just after 9/11 and hadn't been detained for that. Why would it go missing now? How much might we both care?

I'd previously given away most of my tools as I have most of my books, just because I was pretty sure I wouldn't need or want them anymore. That has never bothered me, even though and even as I seem to be spending my declining years fixing family houses all over the place. I've reduced the scale of the toolbag I need to the approximate size of a lunchbox. I consider that a victory, and yet still I misplace tools.

The thing which started this was that while I was installing the lock the day before, making all the usual realignments to account for the sagging of the gate and the mistakes of whoever installed the rotted lock the last time, I realized I needed a washer of a certain size to make the lock operate smoothly.

It hit me in the morning that those excess silicone rubber washers I had to buy on Amazon (it's not like they're available anywhere else) in order to get the one I needed for my moka pot would precisely fit the bill. I felt a kind of elated. That was quickly followed by my frustration that the one tool I needed had gone missing (I'd fudged the day before, when I had to leave the lock loosely installed).

Now the question here posed is which represents the creative mind? I'm going to claim that it was the random incursion of a serendipitous resolution before the fact, not the mind I'm losing. In other words, the creative "act" was the one not in my control, but which was in my purview when making a "creative" connection.

Well, yay! I'm an artist. I only had to lose my mind to become one. And a screwdriver. And an important artifact. Fair trade.

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