Dec 7, 2009


I assembled some furniture this week. Three five-tiered bookcases and a two-tiered shoe rack, to be exact. It's amazing how liberating such a simple task can make you feel.

I attacked the first bookcase with much anxiety and an overdose of attention to detail. I read and reread the instructions. I checked and cross-checked the diagrams to make sure I had all the pieces in the right position and that I used the right screws. My throat was dry and my heart palpitated as if I was going on stage. It's ridiculous how afraid I am of making mistakes.

The second bookcase was less of a challenge. I was familiar with all the pieces and how they fit together. I tried different maneuvers to see if the task could be made easier. It was a right decision in some instances, wrong in others. No matter. I told myself that perfection is for God. We humans settle for a lot less.

The third bookcase was a breeze. I hardly glanced at the instruction sheet. The wrong maneuvers were avoided, the right ones were repeated. My fingertips were sore and red. My pyjamas were covered in wood dust and wood chips. The bookcases seemed to be leaning against one another.

No matter.

I have assembled three bookcases all on my own. Now I feel as if there's no limit to what I can do with my little orange screw driver.


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