this past week i built a deck on the back of our house. i started a week ago sunday (june 5th) and took the week off to work. it was my first sustained work of labor in a while. i worked 8-10 hours a day and this week happened to be our first heat wave of the season. i really felt like i was working, sweating, getting blisters, and it felt on the one hand good, and on the other hand terrible. I was so tired, my muscles hurt, and i was stiff getting out of bed in the morning. here's a shot of my blisters.
most of all, however, i felt that work as labor is really hard. it is something that many, many people do daily. when our faith as a way of life group visited the chicken factory in springdale, arkansas, we saw workers who were in a dark hot room grabbing chickens and putting them on conveyors by their feet at the rate of 135 per minute. now one worker can't do that many, but between the four or so on duty in that room, they did fill every rack on the conveyors. i think that part of the reason i like to do really hard labor on some regular basis is to remind myself of how many of those who are paid least in the economy put their bodies on the line to get work done in way i'll never do with my herman miller aeron chair padding my arse. work is prayer, maybe. but it is pretty hard to pray when the sweat is pouring down into your eyes, your mouth, your clothing wet, our arms black with dirt, and still--for me it was TO BUILD A DECK! it was all joy. it was all fun. so perhaps it is only in the most humble way that i can say this kind of work gives me a sense of gratitude, for my life, but also for the work of so many whom i depend upon for my life.
anon, and +peace