Desks and Why We Don’t Do What We Want to Do

Last summer, in the throes of boredom, I built this desk. This is something I sometimes do: Build new things out of old stuff. I think of it as reconciliation carpentry. You can give something new life, new purpose. So I built this desk–I measure it to fit perfectly between the radiator and window in our bedroom. It was going to replace a small bookcase, so I built a bookcase into the side of the desk, complete with an old window that you lift up to access books. I was really proud of it–still am, I suppose. Because I took a bunch of old stuff–scrap lumber, an old fence gate, etc.–and made something that looks pretty cool. But it has not, until today, served any sort of new purpose. Well, there have been books in and lots of laundry sitting atop it, but the original and main intent behind it was to have a desk in our room where I could sit and write. And I didn’t do that.

I’m not sure why I don’t write. It makes me happy. I feel better about myself, better about my place in the world. I feel centered and calm–no matter how much coffee I’ve ingested. But I guess that’s the $64,000 question right: How come we don’t do the things we love? The things that give our lives meaning? The Apostle Paul asked it, in a way, when he talked about doing the things he didn’t want to do and not doing the things he wanted to do. Steven Pressfield talks about it in his book The War of Art, which I’ve blogged about often, the problem of resistance. I don’t know if it’s sin or resistance or laziness or what, but I guess it’d be a whole lot better world if we did the things that gave us meaning, the things we loved. Right?

Now I’m shutting off the interwebs and cracking open Act II of this infernal novel.



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