I cracked two paintbrushes tonight.

two paintbrushes against a tan tile floor, background includes wall with painters tape outline a freshly painted triam and molding.

I used to iron clothes.

In a profession that requires patience, expectancy, and hopefulness, many things are waited on for long amounts of time. We wait for things beyond our abilities to wait for them.

So the ability to iron clothes, vacuum floors, mow yards, install light fixtures––they become therapeutic.

At least they do for me.

To start and finish a task that allows me to back up from, look at, and see physical characteristics of its completeness… its finished-ness… it’s healing in a way. In a vocation that requires a long waiting for things unseen, and bearing a faith that pushes hoping for the ridiculous even farther, hope and wait, hoping and waiting, are the honored things.

But they are the things cursed under, and often not under at all, our breath.

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I cracked two paint brushes in half tonight.

In an effort to both gain satisfaction from crossing off a to-do list item from my list as well as to prevent my mind from ruminating on certain frustrating circumstances, I smothered my ears with these new headphones, cranked up Ludovico Einaudi, and got to work. Having repainted the walls of my kitchen a few months ago, I started carefully repainting the trim.

Crisp antique white.

Against the “water swirl” bluish-white of the kitchen, a Lowe’s knock-off from an $8 sample of a fancy shade from London’s Farrow & Ball, there’s not much contrast, but high gloss against flat paint should be quite striking.

Clean lines. Smart joints.

Between coats two and three, however, I cracked two plastic brushes in half. I chuckled at the first but slowed at the second breaking.

In an effort to calm my spirit and ease my mind, my anger and frustration and fear and anxiety managed to make their ways to my right hand and wrist where they released themselves in the crack of cheap paintbrush I was using to assuage my own anxieties.

And then in a second cheap paintbrush.

Finding clean lines and smart joints and perfect outcomes and positive news is a daunting task. The profession of social work leads one to find those things in places and things other people, students, or clients.

windowsill with blue painters tape separating light blue wall from antique white trim and moulding.

The search pushes itself into ironed shirts, swept floors, and painted molding.

The stress pushes itself into the cracked handles of two cheap paintbrushes and the profane-ridden mumbles of my midnight comments to two dogs and a poorly-informed and poorly-responding Alexa dot.

But the reality remains… when I’m ready for it as well as when I’m not. The world goes not well, but the kingdom comes. We do the things we know to do––successful or not––because we can’t not do them. We iron our shirts, paint our molding, break our brushes, and curse our innocent dogs.

But ultimately, we wait in hope.

The world goes not well, but the kingdom comes.

djordan
Pine Tree Dr.

2 thoughts on “I cracked two paintbrushes tonight.

  1. Carrie Whaley says:

    I’ve missed your musings, my friend–and you! 🙂

  2. I. A says:

    Thoughts that always get me by are 1. I don’t have to be anyone else, because who I am at the present moment is enough, and 2. I deserve my own effort, whether it comes from accepting hardships, stress, or forgiving myself. Keep your head up, this too shall pass.

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