Over a year ago, I ripped out the wall that divided 2 small, 10′ x 10’rooms that had been built to serve as my kitchen and my dining room. Both of the diminutive areas were dark and constrictive. I always felt that I could hardly breathe in them, and while a table for 6 would fit in the dining room, it was not large enough for 6 people to sit in the chairs. Neither the kitchen nor the dining room were adequate.
On top of it all, my kitchen floors and counters were an obnoxious color of blue, and to make matters worse, the cabinets were covered with a thin veneer of a type of plastic–and the plastic was peeling away. Beneath the plastic, the cabinets were particle board. One of the drawers had gotten soggy too many times and the front of the drawer had fallen off. The particle board had corroded away and there was no way to re-attach the drawer-front. Other drawers were beginning to follow suit, and my kitchen was beginning to look like a snaggle-toothed jack-o-lantern.
A couple of times, I considered selling my house and I briefly listed it both times. People would walk through the front door and about 15 feet through a nice living room, with old wood floors. Their faces would seem calm and perhaps even pleased until they reached the kitchen. Once would-be-buyers saw my blue kitchen, their expressions would sour and within minutes, they were out the door and off to look at someone else’s house. My blue kitchen was appalling, and I couldn’t pass through my house without its flagging me, reminding me that I had an unresolved problem.
I knew what I needed to do. I needed to get rid of the peeling cabinets and I needed to tear out the wall between living room and the dining room. My problem was that I had almost no available funds for remodeling, but I finally found some used cabinets and an affordable handyman to hang them, and without seeing how I’d reach the end of the project, I dove in and began chiseling away the errant wall.
Don’t get me wrong. I was afraid to begin that project, but I knew that if I ever wanted to sell my house, I had to make a change, and I simply began moving toward my goal, trusting that somehow, I would make it to the end.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1
As I thought about what needed to be done, I talked myself out of action several times. Finally, with almost a Build-It-They-Will-Come attitude, I ripped out the wall myself and took a leap of faith.
Things can fall apart, or threaten to, for many reasons, and then there’s got to be a leap of faith. Ultimately, when you’re at the edge, you have to go forward or backward; if you go forward, you have to jump…. – Yo Yo Ma
No doubt, my tearing up my kitchen was an impulsive and dubious move. I am quite sure that my being an artist enabled me to do what I did. In creating, a person is forced to leap time and again; and redoing my kitchen has become a creative endeavor for me.
Faith is almost the bottom line of creativity; it requires a leap of faith any time we undertake a creative endeavor, whether this is going to the easel, or the page, or onto the stage – or for that matter, in a homelier way, picking out the right fabric for the kitchen curtains, which is also a creative act. – Julia Cameron
I often write about the fear that binds most people who want to create art. I also write about the artist’s need to trust his intuition in creating. Years ago, I learned to hush the voice of caution that had defied my artistic efforts before then.
There are many talented people who haven’t fulfilled their dreams because they over thought it, or they were too cautious and were unwilling to make the leap of faith. – James Cameron
Creating a kitchen is not much different than painting or sculpting a piece of art. Surely, money is an issue, but I simply had to trust that I would somehow hop over that hurdle, too. My first handyman was a loser–He was more of a doper and crook than anything else. In fact, I wrote a poem about him.
A Limerick for My Contractor
by Jacki Kellum
I hired me a contractor who
Preferred the white the powder and flew
Clear out the door.
My money! You boar!
My house is still far from half-through.
After that guy fled, my project was paralyzed for more than a year. During that time, I have been forced to look at my half-down wall that looks like giant rats have been eating it, and after I yanked up the blue linoleum, I have been forced to see the scabby-looking sub-floor.
It all became depressing to me. I had almost given up on my kitchen project, my creative intuition, and my leap of faith, but just before I did so, things turned around. Someone me a complete kitchen that is gorgeous. It comes with all the appliances, a huge pantry, the light fixtures and a table and benches. In this case, one man’s trash is more than any treasure that I could even imagine.
I have even found a new contractor that I can barely afford, and I know that I can trust him. He did my friend’s kitchen. For at least one more time, my dreams are about to come true.
Dream it, it will come.
©Jacki Kellum February 29, 2016
Happy 2016 Leap Year