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#19: Hurlyburly

#19: Hurlyburly

I've been thinking of foundations, the parts of a building that don't get the love they deserve because they are usually out-of-sight. Any good blueprint will outline how the foundations will support everything.

Digging down to go up

Once I had bought my block of land, I could begin dreaming of what I might build. I knew I wanted to build a straw-bale house, but that was about it.

The slope of the land dictated a split-level home, stressing the northern aspect and the view of the small country town and stunning sunsets.

The first substantial work was to dig over eighty holes. It was back-breaking work that went on for weeks. The idea of needing to dig before you could build is essential. If the structure is to last, it requires solid foundations.

The archaeology of the mind

Often on building sites, particularly in places with a rich history of past buildings, there will be a need to employ an archaeologist to shift through the debris. When embarking on a project, often past thought patterns prove to be a hinderance.

As I was digging my stump holes, I was lucky to come across only a few "floaters", or "large rock fragments".  A friend, on a property only 400 metres away, had nothing but floaters, enough to ring their property in a four-foot high wall.

The analogy here is that past beliefs can prevent the foundation from doing its job.

For me, I quickly came to realise that I needed to be conscience of the task at hand, otherwise I'd easily get distracted. You only get so far building a house with half-formed work.

When the hurlyburly's done

I am teaching Macbeth. There is no greater privilege than to teach Shakespeare, if only because I get to indulge in the writings of a master.

The witches begin by asking when they'll meet again. After the war, they declare.

The hurlyburly is the chaos of war, or, as Ross says in Act 4, to "float upon a wild and violent sea."

So much of the play is about life without solid foundations. Macbeth was never destined to be king, or at the very least not king based on naked ambition. Their words distracted him from what had set him a part during the fighting. He'd been loyal and brave and had been rewarded for it.

Distractions are like the prophecies of the witches. What would have happened had Macbeth just let fate run its course?

The blueprint will dictate what needs to be done. For Macbeth, it was remaining loyal and brave. For me, it is writing when I'm exhausted. For my students, it is taking heed of my wise words.

What is your blueprint telling you is the next step? And have you built a firm foundation?

Till next week,