Plaster-Ceilings Seen Through the Looking-Glass: What’s Wrought of Words Where the Elbow Fails

Fascia is my marble & the elbow is my chisel, proverbially.

Like all generalizations, this claim is such an impoverished approximation as comparing my modest skill to that of Michelangelo. Happily for everyone, each of my clients is from the outset gifted by Nature with such an extraordinary design that it far outshines the bare Sistine Chapel-ceiling—otherwise mine would be a pitiful enterprise indeed. Rather, my clients stride into The Way of the Elbow as original masterpieces in themselves, ab inicio—my humble task is to allow them to express their native riches.

An ‘istorical allegory will explain:
Sources recount that in 1954, Thai workers lost control of a colossal five-&-a-half-ton sculpted likeness of Buddha. As they attempted to transfer it from a pedestal to a scaffold, someone pulled a lever & the best-lain plans of the sayd workers went all awry—they could only look on in horror as the illustrious 13th-century masterpiece slid from the scaffolding & crashed to the floor of the gallery. They stood awe-stricken only to behold a sort of beatification, in real-time: a veneer of plaster crumbled from the entire statue to reveal a figure of pure gold before their astonished eyes. Phra Phuttha Maha Suwan Patimakon—“The Golden Buddha” was revealed.

No less marvelous revelation occurs in each of us when we manage to rediscover the essential grace that is perpetually plastered over by the various stresses of modern life.

Individuals hire me to help them chip away the manifold strata of plaster & debris. In the case of a living human being, it would be counterproductive to remove all the “plaster” in a single traumatic instant, as the Thai workers inadvertently managed with their statue. I cannot, as it were, discharge my clients from scaffolding & expect positive outcomes, for any party. Rather together we must summon the patience to remove one layer at a time. This project begins at the superficial & progresses thence.

Fascinatingly, it is not uncommon that the first layer to chisel-off is not inherently structural at all—rather it is super-physical; it is an attitude! It seems silly; perhaps it sounds enigmatic. By nature I was sceptical of these intangible aspects, though in retrospect I’m not sure why. It is no more esoteric than this:
A belief that progress is impossible fulfills itself.
An obdurate attitude precludes progress on any front.
If I am determined not to change, then I am determined not to.

How do we then proceed? How does one “Rolf” an attitude? The Elbow is too gross an implement for such undertakings, which like

the serpent [who] was more subtil than any beast in the field

manage to foil all our of our coarser efforts. And ultimately, an individual’s beliefs are her own. Yet she need not be at their mercy. If beliefs are like clothes, then the belief that I can never change is as perfectly inappropriate to the context as to sport a snowsuit in Brazil. I don’t dress my clients. But I certainly encourage them to dress themselves, to prepon, with propriety, utility & good decorum. We gird our loins with befitting undergarments. But the psyche dances best au natural. Where the Elbow fails, perhaps the message of this very post might crack the plaster-ceiling & reveal the glint of gold.

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