A falling-down old shack becomes a lesson in the true value of things.
The story of the Shit Shack begins in the back corner of a friend’s property in semi-rural Oregon. Her jerk of an ex-husband built it as a shed, and not very well either. It’s falling down, unfinished, ugly and rough. It’s crammed with both the useless and potentially useful detritus of semi-rural life. It blocks the view to a pleasant green field. It’s built like shit, by a shithead, and it’s full of shit. So we call it the Shit Shack.
But by some miracle, the Shit Shack doesn’t leak.
And in Oregon, that’s worth a lot.
I promised my friend I’d help her tear the Shit Shack down. We were both looking forward to it. But somehow, we never got around to it. The stuff inside had no place else to go. Tearing it down would possibly create more problems than it solved. So we never did.
My friend and I fell out of touch over the years. The Shit Shack probably still stands. It definitely does in my imagination. It reminds me of promises unkept, regrets for not doing things I wanted to do. It reminds me to weigh the real value of action and inaction. It reminds me to think things through and not create more problems than I solve.
The Shit Shack reminds me that everything has value. And we can’t get so fixated on one aspect of value, that we forget the others. At the same time, it’s a reminder that some things would be better off if they’d never existed in the first place, and that things can outlive their usefulness. Things have a life span. When that happens, we shouldn’t be afraid to make way for something better.
Also see, Change is Natural.