Making It Stick


Plaster is a sticky substance. I found this out years ago when I worked as a security installer. It was the first time I’d ever been a field technician and had to repair walls. I started in the residential side of the business, making sure homes were protected against break ins and giving the elderly life safety devices in case of emergency. Plaster and putty has an interesting texture, which is akin to a gritty cream cheese mixed with a feta. It goes on easy, covering any but the largest holes you come across, but it isn’t foolproof. If done properly, plaster can make holes disappear. It can be sanded and shaped into the fascia of any wall in a way where only the trained eye could see that it has been used.

We had work done yesterday on the boys room, beginning one of a handful of tasks which need to be done before we sell the house. It already looks far better than it did, and I cannot wait to start painting it so they can enjoy it. For years I’ve dreamed about seeing that room the way my boys deserve, and I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little emotional as I stood on their empty floor last night. It shouldn’t have taken this long, but now that the plastering work is done, we can finally move on to painting.

Life is a lot like that.

Our dreams start out in much the same way, gritty and malleable. As we learn how to shape those dreams, we can turn them into anything we desire. This doesn’t come without work. We have to let the plaster dry and step away from the work for a time before returning to make any further changes. After it is ready, we splash it with paint, coloring the blank and bland space with our chosen emotions. In this way, we have the ability – the duty – to fill our dreams with the colors life gives us. A swath a red for the love we share for our families, or perhaps burnt orange as we dream about the sunset over a secluded island getaway. All these things are within our grasp if we are willing to take the time and shape our future.

I couldn’t list all the long term dreams I have, there are simply far too many. Not all of my dreams are for me, as many of my dreams are for other people. For my wife, for our family, for my brother, and a score of friends who deserve the very best. This does not mean I lack my own dreams, but I have more plastering to do. I have to pull out the white pail every day and work on the future I desire. It isn’t easy either, nor did I expect it to be. When I finish shaping and painting, I’ll get to share it all with you.

The current work in progress is taking far longer than usual and that’s a good thing. Rushing this piece won’t do me or my readers any good. It has to come from someone who I am not yet, but someone I am seeking to become. The only way to become that person is to go through the process of writing this book. The revisions process, the analyzing of each chapter for the flow of dialogue, is under a critical microscope. I’m going in a new direction this year, and an important one. I won’t be doing everything on my own, because I believe it is time to begin the querying process and hunt down an agent.

But I can’t do that until the words and images move from my head to my fingers and bleed out on the page. This takes time, which is our one true enemy on this Earth. Time forces us to choose between the now and the future, as the past is something fixed.

Whatever your dreams might be, thrust both your hands into the thick, gritty, plaster of life and get to work on shaping the future you desire.


Addendum: I cannot wait for fall. With August upon us tomorrow, my brain is already catapulting to cooling temperatures, bonfires, and the deep, dark night. We have so much to do before those nights arrive, but it doesn’t keep me from wanting to smell the dying leaves, and watch as the trees kneel to the yearly cycle of death. I have so many friends who live for the summer months, and rightly so, but I desire something which only time can give me.