susan – the artist’s flaw

across the street she’s stopped and standing at the edge of the construction site, looking longingly at the dark dark muddy soil. silver hair exposes her age, but her light blue rounded specs squinting into her flip-phone camera as she bends down to document the scene lend her a youthful appeal.

“nice day for foraging”, she says to me as we cross paths for the second time this morning at the corner. (i happen to be carrying a large tree branch on my shoulder.) ‘beautiful’, i agree, and keep smiling two seconds longer than is appropriate. her attention is caught and in the split second i direct her attention to the ground. ‘check out this comic!’ and truely, there is a perfectly cut out comic plastered to the sidewalk beneath our feet. she laughs.

‘See where they’ve torn down that area? All that dirt? I used to live just over… in there… a long time ago. It’s so interesting, And now they’re marking it all up for whatever they’re going to build next.”

a little leather rucksack with plaid lining perches between her shoulders. her lipstick is pink and might even have sparkles in it.

We’re practically neighbors… ‘I used to live just up the street, too!’ ‘Oh, really?!’ We get to chatting… and my branch enters conversation. I’m making a perch for a birdfeeder. Walking home from the Tool Library. Have you heard of it? ‘Yes, I have, actually!’ And then you know that either the VTL is on top of their marketing, or this is, in fact, a super rad old woman I’ve met.

‘In fact, I built a cabin once.’ Ok – definitely the latter. ‘I had a place on Georgian Bay in Ontario. I just thought, well, other people have done it. Can’t be that hard. I had this book called Making Due…’ ‘Wait – you just built it by yourself?‘ She smiles and continues, ‘I called it The Artist’s Flaw. You know how, back when, artists had to make intentional flaws in their work? otherwise they would offend the deities? Well, I had a gaping hole above the door because I made the door angled wrong, and this sign covered up the flaw.’

We talk tools a little longer and she says she’ll bring the little handbook to the Tool Library on Tuesday.

making due…


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