Yesterday I was running some errands on my bike and it seemed like it was kind of hard to peddle. When I stopped to check out what the problem was I noticed that my back brake was too tight and dragging on my wheel rim. I had just adjusted this same brake less than a week ago and here it was again needing adjustment. The thing is that this is an old Takara road bike with old style hand brakes that are not only difficult to adjust but getting worn out. By the time I got home I was feeling really upset with not only this brake thing but a lot of other little things that were all piling up on each other to make a heavy load on my back. I went down in to my basement workshop and got back to putting some new drawings into frames. (I had made these frames a few days before out of some old wood my freind and I picked up out of a vacant lot in town.) As I worked at the framing my frustrations began to drift away and I found some measure of peace again.
We are a family of seven living at home and we do our best to make it on the little money that comes in from what art we are able to sell. We live in a 100 year old house filled with a lot of broken things that still work. We have learned to pluck furniture off the curb and stitch it back together. We repair a broken leg or a sagging spring so as to extend a couches life a few more years. Living with all these broken in artifacts is a constant reminder of our own brokenness. We know our lives are all broken in some way. We have what we like to call issues. We all have these various things we are struggling with in life. We have these perennial problems that keep coming back into our lives like the dandelions that always insisted on spoiling my fathers otherwise perfect lawn. He would pay us a nickel a dandelion to pull them out but they always managed to come back in full force latter on in the summer.
I think it may be these broken things we learn to live with help us have compassion for the people in our lives and their short comings. We are all in this together. It helps to find a way to make space for these worn out couches that still manage to provide us a place to sit down and stare out the window.