My chair is feeling much better, and it's all fixed now. The repairs are ugly, although sturdy enough. I did my best even though I didn't really know how to do what needed doing.
The chair looks normal enough in general view. It's stable, usable, worthy.....although it's hiding that repair secret under the seat. Humans are kinda like that, too, aren't we?
The chair wasn't the only thing in the blue room that wanted fixing. There's a pretty little table: antique English mahogany with nicely turned legs. But it also has issues: the top is a bit warped, stained, and out of true; the legs are riddled with woodworm; and the supports have come loose. It, like so many other things in my house, is an attractive piece of junk--it's okay as long as you don't look too closely.
Still, the table serves a purpose, and it's worthy of mending. A bit of glue should keep it going for awhile longer. I wasn't sure how to fix this either so, once again, I was working on intuition.
My mother, the rebel, was inclined to step forward boldly with whatever she chose to do and she had an amazing way of making things work. My grandmother Nana had determination; she knew how to figure out what needed doing. They both often told me of their carefree active childhoods--running and playing and exploring and fighting with all the local kids. (Nana once had a fist-fight with the town bully [not something girls ever did during those Edwardian days] and her father, upon being told of her misbehavior, said simply, "Well, Flossie, did you win?") Mother and Nana had both been expected to exhibit a certain amount of ingenuity and forward thinking. They were encouraged to dare and to win.
But somehow when it came to me, matters changed completely. I was not allowed to run free; I was expected to entertain myself alone quietly. Exacting obedience was required, and I gave it willingly. It was assumed that I could not do what they had done and, more importantly, that I should not. Often enough, too often indeed, I was told "you are not capable." I never learned the basics of how to accomplish anything, and this terrible lack plagues me always.
I do not believe that they meant to be unkind, merely that they were trying to keep me safe from whatever demons they had faced, and that they kept secret scars hidden under the surface.
To this day, I have no problem with failure, although I expect it more than I ought. It is succeeding that scares me because it seems like disobedience somehow. But I do my best and I hide the secrets, like most folks do. It's human nature, isn't it? We are all both strong and weak; the important thing is to keep making repairs whenever we can so that we can be strong, sturdy, and useful.....and so we can find joy in doing.
Life is good. Truly.
Our pasts create the present but we choose how to move to the future.