Communion Of Dreams

October 22, 2009, 9:07 am
Filed under: Book Conservation, Failure, Health

“Hi Jim, this is Dottie. I just wanted to make sure that you were the one who came by and got the wood this weekend.”

“Yeah, thanks. As I said, if it was still there by the weekend, I’d get it out of your way. Sorry that I left those three large pieces – something came up. I’ll come get them later this week.” I didn’t figure I needed to tell her about the accident.

“OK, thanks. I just wanted to make sure you were the one to get the wood, that someone else didn’t take it.”

* * * * * * *

Sunday, I basically couldn’t work. Was still much too dizzy from the concussion on Saturday, so just spent the time trying to take it easy. Which meant that I lost one of the three day’s time to finish up a batch of books I had promised my big client that I would deliver on Wednesday morning.

But by Monday, the dizziness had mostly passed. I worked steadily through the day and into the evening, making up for lost time. Tuesday I got back to it, and concentrated on trying to finish up, but there are some things that just take time – I stopped at midnight. Got up yesterday at 5:00, and with a little help packing things from my good lady wife was ready to leave as scheduled.

Drove to KC, arrived about ten minutes early. Unpacked the car, was waiting for the Director when he walked in. He looked at me and said “Oh, were we meeting today?”

* * * * * * *

I got home, tired from working hard the last couple of days, tired from not getting much sleep, tired from the 5-hour round trip drive over to KC. Patted the dog, chatted with my wife, came in to check mail and the state of the world. A couple of minutes later my wife came into my office.

“Oh, meant to tell you, Dottie called.”

“Oh? She called me the other day to confirm that I was the one who cleared out the wood. What’s up?”

“Well, she promised her daughter that she could have the smaller stuff.”

“She didn’t mention that when I talked to her.”

“Well, evidently her daughter had been delayed. Dottie thought that maybe you could just come over and split the rest of the wood that’s there, so her daughter could take it.”

“Split large chunks of green wood? She has no idea how hard that would be, does she?”

* * * * * * *

The Director shook my hand as his assistant started unpacking the books. They love my work, always make nice noises when they unpack things and see the results of my labor.

“Well, I have bad news. We can’t send any books back with you.”


“Yeah, we’ve run out of money for this project.”

This came as no surprise to me, since they had delayed paying me for the last batch of book for two months, with one excuse after another. And then the Director had asked for and pushed through an estimated invoice for the work I was delivering, the check coming to me a couple of weeks ago. My guess is that they got in some money, and he wanted to make sure I got paid before it went to something else.

“But we want to keep at it, as soon as we get some more donations!” Said the Director.

“Well, let me know.”

I helped them unpack the rest of the books. Shook hands, and left.

And with that, about 75% of my workload disappeared.

* * * * * * *

I laid in bed this morning after waking about 4:00, thinking. I still have enough other work to keep me busy and the wolf from the door. And now I can spend more time finishing the revisions of Communion, and what remains to be done on the care-giving book.

And I must admit, I am seriously tempted to just take back all the wood I had gotten from Dottie, be done with it.

Jim Downey

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[…] in the economy, my conservation work from private clients this year has been way down. And since I lost a large institutional client last year, I didn’t have that work. Still, I’ve had work enough to keep me busy, the […]

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