Do we have glue? What kind of glue? Where are those candles in the little cups? Do we have string? Do we have a hook that screws into the ceiling?
He was up to something, this not-much-longer twelve year old, what with the long stretches spent at the workbench in the shed, interspersed by bursts to the house to ask me questions shrouded in mystery. What he was really trying to say was that he needed my help, but I wasn't supposed to know what, exactly, it was that I was helping with.
Finally, following a curious sort of conversation dance, he spilled it: he was making an antler chandelier, with a candle in it, that would hang from his bed nook ceiling.
I love the place from where ideas leap.
An antler chandelier is an awesome idea! I said it truly. Here's wood glue, the candles are in the drawer, and when it's finished, could we put it right here, in the center of the dining table, instead, where we can all see and enjoy it?
I said this because he needed a yes (don't we all?). A yes, you can do this. Yes, it's a good idea. A bit of a modification for safety's sake, sure, but aren't all creations shadows of their original selves, mere sparks of ideas in the beginning, molded and morphed into function and beauty (and safety) in the end? We need these ideas. We need these beginnings, because without beginnings, there would be no ends. Without ideas there would be no change, no invention, no art. The beginning is the sacred start of something. The beginning is where traction and space and yeses are necessary, to see what becomes. How is it that we so often applaud effort at the crossing of the finish line, when all is over and done? Maybe it's at the beginning that we should be giving our most raucous applause.
The afternoon eternity of drying glue finally past, and in came a boy, proudly, carefully, bearing his creation.
As the sunlight faded to dusk, the candle was lit, and the circle of antlers glowed at the table's center as we spooned creamy chowder and broke hot biscuits in two.