In the future, those yellow and white boards will be dark purple. In the past, they were my neighbor’s ceiling. They made an ugly, annoyingly cheerful ceiling, so when he got a job he decided to replace them. As he took them down, I put them right back up. Once something of ours finally lands in the trash, it deserves to be thrown away. Until then ceilings become walls become trim. Bookshelves become flower beds become chicken coops. Sheets become curtains become bridal gowns…
The other two sides (not shown because I’m currently pretending that they don’t exist) are still open, their corner beams mockingly rotten. The upside is, three packs of silicone and one 2 meter-long beam are looking like the last things I’m going to need to buy. The slower I am, the more time I’ve had to find what I need. The more I learn, the better I am at building solutions out of the scavenged materials I’ve dumpstered. I can no longer say I’ve never built anything, that I don’t even know how.
I can imagine being finished now, and the image becomes clearer and clearer every day. Every night before I go to sleep I lay in bed picturing the details–the insulated walls, the siding, the wood stove, the bookshelves, the fold-out table, the wicker chair. The same images, every night, again and again and again. On the nights when motivation is low I force myself to imagine it in even more detail: cutting and fitting Styrofoam into the walls, screwing each individual board onto the frame, filling the bookshelves book by book. I draw pictures, I write lists, again and again and again and again.
The red fold-out table! The windowsill for potted herbs to grow in the summer! The secret box under the floor to store the wood for heating! The bookshelf on wheels beneath the bed! The nightstand and the electrical sockets and the shelf for cassettes! The dark purple siding and the black trim!
Visualization is where I dip my ladle into the well. To people who would understand what I meant I might call it magic, but with the right vocabulary even a no-nonsense person would know what I meant, would know that it works and how it’s gotten me to this spot where I’m standing today. If you know what you want and if you concentrate on it, in every free minute, with every free brain cell, in excruciating detail, again and again, you’ll probably end up getting it. Go ahead, call me a stupid hippy, I don’t mind.