One of my many projects of late has been the restoration of an old bed frame. It had been stored away for years. I’m not sure why I became so attracted to this piece. Its design was not exceptional, parts were missing, and some of the damage it had sustained was beyond my ability to repair. Nonetheless, I was drawn to its mixture of curved and straight lines, its wintery blue-gray tones.After months of assessing how to address the absence of certain parts, my husband and I discovered a solution for attaching the headboard and footboard to a new frame. With that problem solved, I was free to begin sanding the chipped, rusted pieces. As some of the paint layers began to flake away, I discovered even more damage, but the silvery, copper tints that emerged kept me engaged. They were so beautiful, those mottled metal colors.
My prolonged sanding process also captured my imagination in another way. I started musing about all the discarded items I’ve worked upon—so many were bent, broken and rusted. As time has passed, I’ve come to accept that no matter how long I sand or thoroughly I paint, many of the original defects I seek to restore will remain. My skills are limited. The outcome of my efforts will be imperfect. Yet, these somewhat sobering realizations have been accompanied by some modest assurances as well. First, I know a minimal restoration, however flawed, will return some beauty to the world I share with others. Second, I am certain there is now a fortified foundation, ready to bear another’s worldly weight.