One layer after another

I have been  doing some DIY over the last few days.  I don’t mind the work as it can be satisfying at times although I am hampered at the moment with a shoulder injury.  I am stripping at the moment, (my windows)!  The paint is old at least 20 years, maybe more, it is well past due!  I have left it for a long time as it was in the too hard basket.  i had tried hot air guns (too noisy and slow) chemical strippers (too messy and expensive) and sanding (too dusty and difficult).  I determined that I would have to take them off their hinges and do them outside on a table, i tried the first one and the screws wouldn’t budge, oh well nothing for it but drill them out and replace the screws.

Well this week I had another look, I saw the hinges had pins, easyish job to take them off, I also tried making my own paint stripper from caustic soda.  Well I took the first window off, and lo and behold the stripper worked, one layer after another.  As I got closer to the bare wood the layers came off easier, and in the end the last coat melted what paint was left and I sprayed the paint off with the hose.

I guess it was a bit like an onion with many layers and as I was scraping I was thinking how this was a bit like me.  To strip the paint there was quite a bit of organisation, make the stripper, select something to lay the window on, suitable tools to do the job, a bit of knowledge and a willingness to engage, Any of these things missing and the job would not be able to be done.  My life has been a journey of change for the last 20 years or so, little steps at a time then all of a sudden big ones.  It all started with willingness to change and having the right tools.  the recipe for change has varied, just as there is more than one way to strip paint.  I have changed techniques as the needs have changed.  For me blogging is a bit like paint stripping.  Fifteen years ago I would have rather heated needles and plunged them in my eyes than blurted out my heart and soul in such a public fashion as I do on here.

Just like scraping paint change is hard work, I can only withstand a bit at a time, too much and I get sore and cannot continue the next day, I may have overdone it today actually.  One needs to take the proper precautions, caustic is very corrosive, just as change or confronting your self can be.  One needs safety measures.  The correct tools are also necessary, try using an overly sharp or blunt scraper and it becomes problematic and taking one layer off at a time works best and taking very thin layers off at first is advisable.  The biggest thing one has to have is a will.  Now the question is why? Well my windows were getting past it and without substantial treatment permanent damage would ocurr so as my life. Now I have looked at those windows for a long time and thought about it often, what made me do something, well I have a goal, eventually I would like to shift and if I do I will either sell this house or rent it out, either way the windows needed to be done.

i had looked at my life for a long time knowing change was needed but not just getting started, it just took one little step really and then commitment to carry on, there had to be a reward in it somewhere.  Well the reward in stripping my windows was unexpected, beautiful native hardwood timbers these windows are made of.   I am contemplating some way to leave them uncovered however I think the maintenance will be too much, This is where my analogy ends, you see I could never go back to the person i was, having to cover up who I am, what i think, how I feel.  This comes at a cost but one that is worth it.  Right now i have yet to get to the hard wood in my life, still a few layers to scrape away, not easy right now however nothing worth having  ever comes easy, the reward well looking at myself in the mirror (physically and emotionally) and not feeling broken and sad.  It is still a work in progress.

Ciao  Paul


One response to “One layer after another

  1. This is a beautiful piece – how you connected the task at hand with your person/being.


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