On the bright side, however, I've been getting free bags from a brewery, and I'm actively seeking other free bag suppliers. I now have somewhere around 200, I'm guessing. I just started counting them yesterday.
|There are many bags stuffed inside each of the ones you see here.|
Since I have nothing better to do to move my building project forward right now, I've decided to use method 3 and do it now, and this way, it will save time during the actual building process, because I won't have to stop and diddle every bag. I decided that if I can't start building, I can at least do something that moves things in that direction.
So I sat in my backyard, in the glorious spring sunshine, and turned 54 bags inside out. The bags come from a few different suppliers, and vary in their ease of insideoutability. Some of the bags are fairly stiff, and the standard thing seems to be that when they're sealed for shipping, they are sewn across the top with a mixture of red and white thread, which is really thin string. In what I've come to think of as the Good Bags, it's fairly easy to cut the strings at one end, and pull on the white one, thereby easily unraveling the whole business. Indeed, in these bags, I rarely had to do that, because it was obviously easy enough for the brewers to have done it themselves.
|The Good Bags: nice and soft, easy to open and turn inside out|
But you know what? Earthbag nerd that I've become, I enjoyed every moment of
|My afternoon's work. Notice the pile on the far right; these are plastic liners that the Good Bags have, and which come out intact, meaning I have a bangup supply of kitchen trash bags now too.|
I tend to be an introvert, and when I'm forced to deal with people and the world too much, I begin to lose it after a while. The need to retreat within becomes almost as great as the need to eat in its sense of urgency. This is part of why it's been a dificult month for me, because it seems like I've been around other people constantly, especially with all the work I have right now. That's why, yesterday when I found myself alone in the house for once, it was so lovely to sit outside and introvert bags, defying the stressed-out Nazi taskmaster within that tells me I have to be "on" 24/7. And it inspired to me contemplate that in this case, introversion makes the item in question more functional, ultimately more efficient in fulfilling its purpose. Just like me.
From another angle, I've felt "turned inside out" lately in the sense of feeling exposed and raw. Which, as unpleasant as that can be, I've come to respect as a useful experience in increasing awareness and true groundedness. Because it forces me out of the stories in my head and into the moment; it makes me look to reality for a solid place to stand rather than to my beliefs.
Another tangent of my thoughts was about the journey of the bags, and how I get to participate in that and repurpose them. I enjoyed thinking about the places whose names are printed on the bags, like Germany, the UK, and Belgium, and also about their purpose of transporting grain to be made into beer, and all the many people who will enjoy that beer. The bags could have been just thrown away after they fulfilled their function, only to sit in some landfill until the sun decomposed them, but instead, they will be refilled and resurrected into something with a much more abiding purpose. Again, this strikes me as a good metaphor for life (and a timely meditation with Easter just around the corner). How often do people feel stuck on what seems a dead end road, certain that we know exactly where we're going and what we are and are not capable of? A few months ago I had no idea I'd be buying land and a bus and building a house; I thought I was stuck in Renter's Hell indefinitely. But like with these bags, it only takes some imagination and hard work to create a whole new direction.
As you can see, introverting bags became valuable to me in ways I had not anticipated when I sat down to do it. I had begun to fear that the serendipity had run out, but yesterday showed me that I have to actively participate in it before I see it, construct a house for it to move into, so to speak.