Recreational Restoration

dog in Ljubljana

Image via Wikipedia

I have imagined that restoring an old car or truck is a wonderful feeling.  It’s a form of birth and renewal that plays out through our effort and attention.

For seniors it can also be an exercise bringing back memories of loves, family and “the good old days.”  The restoration process is painstaking enough to give us an opportunity to look deeper at what those moments were really about.  There is a mindful quality that keeps us firmly rooted in the present while honoring the traditions of the past — like in our aikido or Zen practices.

I’m so accustomed to the dogs that are now our family members that I forget the extensive “restoration” each underwent between death row and the foot of the bed.

What’s the payoff? None of these activities is especially cost-effective.  What sense does it make to keep trundling off to a dojo or to paint or write?  Or to create a feeding and training schedule so consistent and predictable that love melts memories of abuse and neglect? Two generations from  will anyone remember?  Does it matter?

I have to trust the efforts are not selfish and initially narcissistic. I trust them to bring me closer to answering the questions, “What is it I need?” and “What am I searching for?”  Somehow these projects seem a better use of time than accumulating toys or using a golf club to kill time.


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