Carpenter

I am a carpenter.  It is my hobby.  My creative outlet.  How I express myself.  Building something out of nothing.  It is the way I survive.

Words are my wood.  Punctuation the nails.  They are the tools of my trade.

I take a single word and place it carefully…just so.  I make sure it is true.  Level.  That it fits perfectly.  At least to the best of my ability.  And then I add another.  And another.  Carefully fashioning them into the piece I see in my heart. Bringing my inner world to life.

Sometimes everything flows easily.  Sometimes it simply “works” as I envision and desire.  But not every time.  I probably fail in my role as a carpenter more than I succeed.  And yet I keep trying.  I keep building.  Word upon word.  Nailed together with great attention to detail.

I sand and lovingly finish each piece.  I try to create something meaningful and lasting out of the ashes of my life.  Something of beauty.  Of interest.  Something worthwhile.

Ever so slowly, my words build a window into my soul.  I give you limited access to sneak a peek through that window, knowing you probably don’t really care to see the poorly-crafted and broken down rooms of my heart.  I am, you see, not the best carpenter.  The things I see and have experienced are not necessarily pretty.  So what I create is not often pretty.  The things I have to share are not awe-inspiring.  And some are downright ugly.

I will never win any awards.

Though I long to build beautiful pictures and hope connect in spite of the ugliness of the wood I use, I don’t often succeed.   I place each word specifically to resonate and to promote a closeness I fear I can’t sustain.  In reality, I struggle to share the results of my carpentry “skills.”  It is frightening to open up.  The small windows I build are probably as close as I can come to letting someone walk through my world.  It is risky sharing my creations.  To allow others to read the words I have crafted, plank after plank, until the piece is finished, is to risk rejection and ridicule.  Sometimes, I question the sanity of my hobby.  Always I question my abilities.  I wonder why I am so driven to build and to share.  To work so diligently to bridge the chasm between us.  I keep sanding the wood, fitting the pieces together until my heart has said what it longed to say, even if I say it poorly.

I dare not place a doorway.  Too risky.  Someone might actually turn the knob and come in.  And vulnerability can be deadly.

Oh, how I wish someone would turn the knob and come in.

This house I have built and furnished, that I have so diligently created in spite of my many faults,  it is all I have to give.  Words.  Words I have tried to make smooth and acceptable, even though they tell a repulsive story.  The story of abuse, rejection, depression.  Of struggles, failings, self-hate.   Of defeat.

I have built with the material that is available to me.  I have written what I have lived.  Word upon word.  Chapter after chapter.  Telling the story of this place where I dwell, this place my hands have made with what I had to work with.

A lowly carpenter.  Sharing my story one hewn and carefully selected word at a time.  All in hopes that someone will see some beauty in my ragged creations.  Maybe even come in and sit down with me for a while.

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