On Saturday, I painted a garage floor.
After earning a living from manipulating ideas for so many years, it was delicious to taste the sense of accomplishment that comes with affecting tangible physical change.
There’s something deeply satisfying about watching transformations. Shapes form and rework themselves into new form. Fat becomes thin, wrinkly relaxes into smooth… it’s always the metamorphosis that holds me transfixed. My guess is that they are soothing because they provide an illusion of control and planned change.
So on Saturday, I briefly became master of my universe and affected planned change upon a rusted and oil stained floor. The chipped paint was restored to a smooth, glossy, and monochromatic surface. Any evidence of wear and tear disappeared. Order was restored from chaos, and the world was set right again.
But change is constant. As I made my modifications, life also continued with its own. The paint immediately began to change in composition. As it dried, it darkened, and in hours past the first application the oxidation process was already underway. In a year, it would be stained. In a few more, chipped. And I’d need to begin again.
The cycle of a painted garage floor is not different than other cycles of life. Nothing escapes change.