An Out

Here’s a quote that’s been haunting me for some time:

And they were never finished. Navajos hated to complete anything–whether it was a basket, a blanket, a song, or a story. They never wanted their artifacts to be too perfect, or too closed-ended, for a definitive ending cramped the spirit of the creator and sapped the life from the art. So they left little gaps and imperfections, deliberate lacunae that kept things alive for another day. To them, comprehensiveness was tantamount to suffocation. Aesthetically and literally, Navajos always left themselves an out. – Hampton Sides in Blood and Thunder

I’ve been considering these words for months, turning them over and examining them for some connection to our home situation. I’ve always thought that it would mean that we would always be working to improve our home, but maybe it’s more than that, maybe it’s about committing to building the house and ending this long planning process.

This week, we learned that the city has approved all of the permits for our redesigned, larger home. That should be awesome, right? There were celebrations last time when this happened, but this time around we barely acknowledged it. We knew the next step was to submit our plans to the bank for re-appraisal, but we stalled on this because another appraisal means another $500, and we were so unsure of things that we almost didn’t feel like it was worth it. We were leaving ourselves an out.

An out would protect us from more bad news. An out would be the possibility of somehow finding a home to buy that we could move into immediately to put these past years behind us. An out would keep us in the planning stages, and I’ve wondered before if I really like planning a home more than building or living in one. This out is all about our insecurities.

After much discussion, we did go ahead and pay for the appraisal. It’s our absolute last effort, and we figured that the past few years are worth one more payment. After all, if it does appraise, there will be lots more expenses ahead. And if it doesn’t, it’s our very last out.

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