Progress has been slow.
There is much I could say about this and while it is tempting to write about the details, the conversations, and my inner terrain, I have vowed to keep my focus on the finish line. I have declared the Essences of Trust, Compassion, Support and Boundaries. I am using less words. For now.
All good juju is deeply appreciated.
Meanwhile, there are always stories. So many stories. Today, I will tell the story of The Welder.
I heard about The Herrero early on in this project. He was the one recommended to create glass and metal work for the two big double doors and four windows.
The two double doors when closed, will fold into accordions and hide smoothly behind the walls, leaving two big openings for the air to dance in. I love this.
Then, a big decision had to be made about the windows, specifically about "la proteccion."
Hmm ... protection, security. In this case referring to the metal work that is welded on the outside of the glass windows in many houses over here. It can be beautiful and the proponents of la proteccion will tell you that you absolutely want it. For security.
Well, as someone who has not used a house key in about 30 years, the idea of bars on my windows has been a stretch.
I thought, I wrote, I looked around, I asked. All the while living in my little cabin, whose door I don't think I have closed once in the last six months. I don't mean locked, I mean closed.
In the end, la proteccion won and it was time to commit to The Welder, especially since the price of metal - like the price of cement - has been going up weekly.
But I couldn't quite let it go so easily. I still wanted to be able to look out of my beautiful arched windows, glass closed occasionally, and not see bars.
I took the matter over to my son who quietly and quickly proposed an option: have the glass and the metal on different hinges so that you can open la proteccion on its own like shutters (I love shutters) and still close the glass. BRILLIANT.
I presented the idea to Jorge who said that yes, we could do it and that he would talk with The Herrero. We came up with a design, he met with the senor, told him what I wanted, and I sent a deposit.
Then we waited for him to come over and take measurements. And waited. It took about three weeks and finally, there he was, with his assistant and a big piece of cardboard with which to draw the outline of the windows' curves. For some reason, I had envisioned a different measuring tool.
Funny thing (kind of) is that after the original shaking of my hand hola, the man really paid me very little attention, nor eye contact. It was all him and Jorge. Man to man. Which I am getting used to (kind of).
But I was listening and paying attention.
I reminded Jorge of the special hinge work we wanted and he reminded The Welder. Somehow, I had a feeling this was a new concept to him, and not one he seemed to love. "I heard "Me complica las cosas," it complicates things for me. Interesting.
Then he said something about the arched windows having to be split so that the top would remain fixed and only the lower, rectangular part would open. Also, something about them not being able to open outwards. Now I was the one who did not love it.
By the time he left, I was not feeling super good about the whole thing and spent some time talking with a few other people, including Ibis who makes the frames for my Hearts. They all told me the same thing: of course it can be done, and yes, it's a little complicated. But, as is often the case here: yes, it can be done.
I went home that night wondering if I was going to switch craftsman, lose my deposit. Maybe only have him build the big doors.
In the morning, my intuition kicked in and it told me that I needed to go meet The Herrero in person. Understand what was really going on, had he - as I suspected - been surprised by the design? Could he really not do it? I think my ego also wanted for him to notice that I existed.
Jorge offered to go with me but I knew I had to go without him.
I got the address and Lila, my girlfriend and I hopped in the car for a mini road trip. We drove through the jungle, through cute little towns and finally arrived, thirty minutes later than we had hoped.
The Herrero was in his studio waiting for us, and a car full of people was there waiting for him to be done so they could leave.
We talked. I explained. He explained.
As I had guessed, he had known nothing about the split metal idea. He had learned about it that very day. Which meant that when he had given us the bid for the job, he had not included the part that complicated his life. Whew.
He was patient, I was clear.
While his crew waited for him (and called him on his phone repeatedly), he took all three of us across the street to look at some doors. He petted Lila. We talked.
He said that yes, it could be done. No splitting the windows.
I mentioned the money and I think that created some breathing room in the tidy workshop and between us.
We compromised: I could not pay for all the windows to be done this way but I could choose one. Then he would build the others the more traditional way. How much will it be to do the big studio window that way? Nada, he said. Nothing. No extra charge. I decided to file this information for later and thanked him. We then went over each of the windows to make sure we were on the same page. I wanted to send him a text with a summary of it all but he said that it was not necessary and somehow I felt that it was important that I listened to that. Even though it made me itch a little, even though I so badly wanted to.
As we walked away, we shook hands and he assured me that it would all be done.
I was so glad I took the time to go and clarify, listen, understand.
In the end, I think part of it was about feeling blindsided by new information, the discomfort of that. Also, the ever present machismo. If there is the option of having a man to deal with, I will fade in the background most times.
Unless I drive my butt through the jungle and through cute little towns.
I called him later and told him that I would like to pay for ONE other window to be done this way, the bedroom window. Done.