Remember Richard Dreyfuss’ character in the movie Close Encounters? He couldn’t stop creating sculptures of that strange mountain, in whatever material he had at hand – from mashed potatoes to backyard mud.

I’ve been similarly obsessed about a shed.

So, I’ve been building a shed out back. A real one. You might say I’ve been shedding. My skin and all. Tough sledding, this shedding, at times, but I kept at it. I’m almost done.

It looks beautiful. It is small, quaint, rustic, faintly zen in the lines of the roof, full of tools already and resplendent with mis-matched French doors to let in the light of day. It is a home for my spirit, maybe. Who knew my spirit could be so small and so sawdusty as to be lodged in a shed? Everyone but me, probably. But I’m glad to know it now, and humbled by the fact.

If you want me I’ll be out back, busy as a beaver by the light of a kerosene lantern, saying my rough prayers to Jesus, the only god who ever was a carpenter. I hope he’ll take pity on a sinner like me, an odd-job man with a blue thumb and a tradesman’s tongue.

I swear I’m doing my level best.

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