13 November 2011

Out of a Little Chaos, Order

Whenever I feel the need to re-attune myself with the cosmic forces at work around me, I clean out my toolbox and arrange it in order again. I spent the mid-afternoon on the patio in the sun doing just that. At one time in another life, I owned far more tools than this, most of which were the flotsam of some particular purpose, purchased ad hoc. What remains constitutes in total a basic toolbox with a few oddities such as a chip puller for work on a computer that looks somewhat like a screwdriver.

Some of these tools go way back. There is a partial set of box-end wrenches that my father gave me. There is a set of metric sockets and a set of metric box-end wrenches that I purchased when I owned a Japanese motorcycle. Both those acquisitions were made decades ago by a much younger man, a different man. I put the metric sockets back in their blue holder in order. I taped the set of metric box-ends together with duct tape since I cannot remember the last time that I used them.

A view of the tray from the other side.

Then there is a small, pristine crescent wrench that I purchased just before setting out on this trip south for jobs for which the big one is too unweildy. It is a satisfying little tool with no troublesome play in it at all.

There is not too much of anything except Allen wrenches and a superfluous set of blades for a saber saw that lies abandoned somewhere, I know not where. I have enough of those Allen wrenches to equip three mechanics. Why this is so is a question that I stopped to ponder for about ten minutes. I think the reason is that in the past I have purchased pieces of furniture that had to be assembled, and with each one I was presented with a new Allen wrench by the manufacturers of the furniture. These pieces of furniture are still somewhere now, I suppose. The Allen wrenches that came with them are here with me in Mexico.

That is a Professional Tuff-Box, by the way, a brand that I recommend even though I never recommend shit to anybody.

When the job was done, there was that feeling in equal parts of serenity and equanimity after having imposed order on a little piece of chaos. There was some small part of what Robert Pirsig spoke of in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance about this. I am not talking about his mental disintegration. I am talking about the motorcycle maintenance. A tiny part of my world that was in disorder had been put right again. It is a good idea to tackle the small, easy things first. Build up your self-confidence. Then you can move on to larger things. Someday.

1 comment:

Stagg said...

good work-it'll "give back "2 ya