The last wind storm tore the hell out of my roof. It was so fierce that it took off not only shingles but also part of the tar paper beneath them. The house, built in 1927, has a roof of solid wood slats beneath the shingles, not plywood, so there were plenty of gaps between the boards for the rain to get in once the tar paper was gone. The rain came in, flowed down into the ceilings and destroyed them. The insurance adjuster determined that the roof was a total loss and wrote me a check to replace it.
It was the Spanish-speaking roofing crew who accidentally created this piece of found art. The triangle of metal sitting on the railing is a piece of the discarded old drip edge that was torn off and tossed to the ground. Instead of finding its way back to Earth, it happened to land on the deck, positioned perfectly on the railing. I shot the picture with my cell phone.
The roofing job was easy enough to tolerate, just two days of banging on the roof and the dogs going crazy with all of the strangers running around the house. That part was easy. The hard part was the interior repairs. The dining room, my office, and one upstairs bedroom had damage to their ceilings. Everything had to be moved out of the rooms. Years of papers, books, disks and equipment had to be boxed and moved out. This was trauma. It was one of the most mentally exhausting things I have done in a long time. I had to buy a laptop so I could continue working, not knowing how long the chaos would last. No, I’m not looking for sympathy on that one. I have wanted a laptop for a long time, and this was a good justification for biting the bullet.
This is an exercise in creative destruction. I have needed to do this for a long time. It’s kind of like backing a dumpster up to your brain and dumping years of accumulated crap out of your consciousness, then standing in the empty room and asking, “OK, now what do I do?”