The Structure Still Stands
Fifty years after the neglect began
the structure still stands.
The iron is rusted, a bright cacophony of color,
A beautiful decay, the iron underneath weakened,
but not so as you would know it.
But even the best iron becomes paper then.
And so there is work to be done. Hard work.
Scraping. Steel brushes. Sweat equity
applied to this Victorian-era relic.
Days. Hours. Weeks.
There is no timetable to restoration.
Everything takes longer than you predict.
Reality is hard than your dreams.
You just work until it is done,
an act of faith.
But it is an act of faith built on experience.
Rust yields. Failure yields. Neglect yields.
No talent is needed other than persistence
and patience. Repeat. Repeat again.
Sooner or later, the iron always shows itself.
You pick up the steel brush, and begin.
About the poem.
The picture was taken at Wilson Castle, a semi-restored Victorian home in Procter Vermont. There is a building behind the house. I am not sure what it was. It looks like an iron cage or garden house, and the florets like the one in the picture line the eves. Every time I go back to revisit the house, I walk to the edge of the woods and look at the building, wondering when, or if, they are going to restore the iron-barred structure.
Many years ago, after coming undone, I went to therapy. My therapist could not, would not tell me how long it would take. “You start. You work until you are in a good place again.” she said. And so it proved.
That was not a hard concept for me. I’ve restored furniture and old things all my life. Predictions are useless. Everything takes longer than you expect. But if you are persistent, you end up with something magnificent. Something noteworthy.
True in the restoration of things and souls. And everything in between.
Be well. Travel wisely,