Shingling houses is sort of a zen experience. That's a nice way of saying it's a repetitive task and frees the mind to think of other things (except around gables which requires all of my attention if I want to keep them straight) I find that my mind wanders when I'm doing things like shingling, sanding or painting.
Lately I've been paying more attention to where my mind goes and it's been rather interesting. Sometimes I mentally read books. Entire chapters will go thru my head and it's almost the same as listening to an audio book with ear buds. Other times it will be whole album sides and sometimes it will be movies without the pictures. And then there are the occasional random thoughts that make me go "huh?".
What are those little divots in the shingles? They look like dimples in the middle of them. I think they're probably from the die machines as they catch the birch and move it but I could be wrong. If I don't pay attention, I sometimes put the shingle on with the divot side out and that annoys me.
Why is it more fun to paint over spackle than bare wood on the edges of window frames? The paint goes on so much smoother but there's more to it than that. It's like completing a circle.
What am I going to make for dinner tonight? Oh, that one is pretty much a daily question and I peer into the paint pot like it's a magic 8 ball that will give me the answer.
Wouldn't it be interesting to watch them make sandpaper?
But sometimes my thoughts go a little bit deeper than the silly stuff. I think about my family and my friends. I think about my life goals, past and present. I consider where I've been and how the events of that journey brought me to where I am now. It's small wonder that I feel like there is so much of myself in my creations when I can look at a specific piece and think, "I resolved my feelings about something while I was making that".
There's something about using my hands to create that frees my mind and I consider that to be a gift. Not only do I have this fabulous gift of a creative spirit, but that creativity allows me to explore my emotions and my thoughts all at the same time! How wonderful is that!
I'm going back to my shingling now and we'll see where it takes me this time. Who knew that the key to moments of inner peace could be shaped like a birch shingle?