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Cords have become my nemesis as I am working on the floors. The floors themselves are gaining on Moby Dick if I am Captain Ahab. The cords, however, are a minute to minute thing that I can pour my frustration with the floors into. The cords without the floor would be irritating so I am judging cords to be in a class of their own, not just a subcategory of flooring, irritating.

I am sure when the electrical cord was invented it was revolutionary. I know I could find information about it on the internet, where this blog is, but I am sleepy and want to go to bed so I will just imagine it was important. The most important thing I have learned recently, and especially yesterday and today is that cords are designed to attack the person using the thing to which they are attached.

I have been using multiple power tools and vacuums as I work on the floors. Some have short cords so you won’t be able to make a break for it and still be running on electricity. Others have long cords so you can go all day without having to find another outlet. We have both. My orbital floor machine that you walk behind has a 50 foot cord. My orbital sander you crawl beside has a 6 ft cord. The 5 gallon shop vac I have attached to the sander has a 20 ft cord. The extension cord I have on the sander is 5 ft. All in all I have 81 feet competing with my two that are attached to my two knees that are attached to my one tired body balanced on one or two knees depending on how the pain level is going.

The pain of crawling around on your knees for a few day primarily comes from ache left from cramped and unchanging body positions and plain ouches that come from crawling over something not intended to be crawled over. To wit, a cord. I forgot how painful it was to place your knee on a thick power cord and then crawl forwaard. I kept forgetting. Each time I got snarled up I thought I could crawl out of the writhing tangle of cords. Each time I thought it would not hurt to put your knee on a cord and crawl forward. I was reminded how perfectly awful it was each time I backed up and crawled on a cord.

Add to that the feet. Not the running foot of cord, but the feet that are attached to my legs that now think knee pads are a permanent figure. I kept making propeller motions with my feet trying to unwrap the cords from my legs Sometimes that worked. Sometimes it just made the pain of crawling onto a power cord all that more noticeable. unfinished floor with multiple electrical cords sprawled about, includes an orbital sander

Multiple times today I stopped, cleaned up my work area and looked at my cords and my work and the shape of the room. Each time I thought I had the perfect organization so that each cord was maximized for location it was destined and reducing the probability of me finding myself tied up by cords again. Wrong, over and over, wrong I was. I could find no organization for the tools with their attached power cords that did not present themselves as implements of my immediate destruction.

Then the most remarkable thing happened. I moved, the sander moved and the shop vac moved all in concert. I looked behind me to see what was going on and discovered that the power cord of the sander was wrapped three times around the shop vac hose. When I pulled one they both came and since the sander cord was wrapped about a third of the length of the vacuum hose attached to the sander, it all moved in concert. I was elated. I had found a way to improve the function of my tools and get myself untangled from the cords.

It worked, for a while. I was able to move freely but the freedom slowly and surely disappeared. Soon I was crawling on cords and getting my feet wrapped up in them as I craweld by. Truly, power cords are horrible.

Somewhere in all the cords I thought there should be a lesson about life but I could not come up with any. I contemplated the homely octupus and wondered if I should make some anology but nothing came to me other than being tangled and stuck.

I decided that was a good thought to cogitate on while I sanded down and back each board on the floor. I have to trips to make, one with a 120 grit and one with a 320 grit. After that I have a ragging trip trip for the stain a trip or two for the sealer and two trips for topcoats. Six coats for each board gives one time to think. The tools are generally so loud that I put my hearing protection in place and ignore the world outside of my floor, sander and being tangled in cords.

We usually don’t see the cords we are tangled up in. Most of the places we get tangled and bound up are in relationships. Last night I did not write in the blog because I was too tired after wrangling with the sanders and the floor boards for 12 hours. I was frustrated and tired and even scared when I was working backwards up to the edge of the stairs coming down from the loft. My booties had to come off or I would track stain down the stairs. I could not grasp the handrail since it gets finished with a clear coat and I had dark mahogany from top to bottom of me. I could not hold on to the floor where I had been because I would leave finger prints in the newly applied stain. I did the best I could but it was scary.

It is just those sorts of positions we find ourselves entangled in relationships. We cannot touch where we have been for fear of messing it up and we cannot touch we we are going or we will bring a trail of the past with us. I thought about whether the here-and-now part of relationships and if they were better than where we have been or where we are going. As I teetered on the brink of the stairs I decide that it was possible for no solution to exist.

We always think that we can find a way out of an interpersonal dilemma. Like cords it may be impossible to organize them so they do not get tangled. Like cords they are the things that make relationships go.