but I have made serious progress on it. The scraping. The caulking. One coat of primer, and yesterday,
another coat. But then I got stuck for a few hours contemplating the ceiling. First, because I realized I didn't have any paint rollers, and painting ceilings, I've learned, is much easier with a roller (and much more professional-looking too). So, off I went to the hardware store to buy rollers, mid-job, and somewhat paint-spattered.
Also, I had less than a quarter can of ceiling paint. Would that be enough? I paid for the rollers but passed on the paint, and let me tell you later, what a nail biter that turned out to be. But whew, it was enough.
Ceiling done, and now all that's left are the actual walls, the part of "painting the closet" that most people imagine I'm talking about when I say I am painting the closet.
Everything takes so much longer than I imagine at the start.
The book I began writing three years ago, for example. A messy draft "finished," but it wriggled around all over the place, morphing into several possible books. The therapy I started last year, just a little tweak of the psyche, I thought, at the beginning, but it has morphed along too, spiraling in multiple directions,
breaking me open in ways I never dreamed, and still, barely past the scraping and caulking phase, and nowhere near the finished product. I know I know, deconstructing the very core of your own self isn't like painting a closet. Or writing a book.
I'd put that away for a while, (the book writing) and a few months ago, plunged back in, trying to trace the various potential storylines and finding what seemed to be two decent possibilities. A friend told me, Hey! Why not write both books? And I laughed and laughed, but then I seriously considered it. Why not?
The brainstorming and revising, the caulking and priming, the tearing apart and forgiving—others, myself—
maybe the point isn’t perfect completion, but gathering the tools, dipping the brush, moving past the beginning, and somewhere into the middle,
where it’s good enough, for today.