It was the summer of 1995. I was back working a boatyard. My last stint doing bottom paint, wooding old varnish, was almost exactly twenty years prior. I was a few hundred miles south of Spinney’s yard, but little had changed. Bottom paint was better for the marine environment but still a mess to apply. The chief varnisher was a different woman, but just as hard to satisfy on the prep.
I rejoiced in the sameness.
The Clinton-Gore reinvention of government deep-sixed my government job as an anthropologist. I was not sorry. Working in the boatyard was therapeutic. Within days there was a lessening of the stress symptoms that had troubled me for most of five years. I stopped grinding my teeth, the twitch in my left eyelid went away. By the end of the second week, the sores in my mouth disappeared.
I began to look upon the detour into my history as healing summer fun.
Then I got a call from an old associate at work wanting me to return as a consultant. I looked around the boatyard, then told her that there was too much work for me to leave just then, call me in the fall.

7 Replies to “Healing”

  1. Most people don’t realize catastrophes can lead to wonderful new things. I’m so happy this worked out perfectly for you. No job is worth that much stress.

    1. You know, I was answering a comment and looked below it to yours. I was reminded that the Chinese ideograph for a hurricane was the ideogram for catastrophe over the one for opportunity.

      1. Fascinating. I fully agree with that. I keep telling my daughter when jobs turn to crap she either does something about it or the whole universe conspires to do it for her. Life is more mysterious than we realize.

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