Over Thanksgiving weekend, I did a lot of painting. For most of Friday and Sunday, I painted our living room, kitchen, and bathroom, and on Saturday I spent 6 hours scraping wallpaper. I had a list of other things I needed to do over the long weekend, but I din’t get to most of them. Normally, I’d be stressed about this, but there was something magical that weekend about the work I did. There’s the obvious reward of a job well done, a finished product that I really liked. Our colors did turn out really well–we couldn’t be happier. But there was something deeper in this experience.
On Saturday morning, I had a rear-end collision that was my fault. The other person and I were fine, but my van was pretty messed up. I started on Saturday scraping the wallpaper simply because I wanted to be able to paint the room on Sunday. I wasn’t sure if it was even possible for me to finish the job by myself. But as I scraped,, I realized I was releasing some good energy, pent up frustration over the van. It gave me strength and motivation to continue. As I worked, the energy of frustration was replaced by the energy of accomplishment, creation, and transformation. The more I scraped, the more transformed the room became. Not pretty yet; very ugly actually, with various clashing shades of paint throughout. But right before my eyes, the room was changing, and it was changing because of ME, because of my power, my creative influence.
In addition, this job was manual, experiential. I was an active participant, physically making this transformation possible. As the hours wore on and I should’ve become more tired, I instead became more energized, relishing in the freedom and creativity of my manual labor, the joy of unbridled creative expression on a very large canvas. Though it was just paint and wallpaper, I effected a change — to the rooms bright with new color and to the people who encounter them. Some may love the color, admire the work. Others may point out the errors, be repelled by the shade. But either way, they are affected, and my job as Creator is done.