Hem pants. Replace buttons. Re-hang shelves and pictures. Fix holes in screens. Weed garden. (Ignore crabgrass.) Deadhead annuals. Scrub enamel sink. Re-plant pachysandra bed. Adjust bike seats. Touch up dinged paint in hall. Oil squeaking hinge. Darn moth holes in favorite sweater, black. Launder curtains, and vacuum louvered blinds. Prune files. Treat stains. Find missing pieces. Sweep up glass, and — band-aid solution — cover broken pane with a cardboard rectangle. Proofread the syllabus, the assignment, the handout. Adjust temperature. Change sheets. Plane doors. Bring broken chairs to Manny; wait two weeks; pick up chairs from Manny. Glue tiny porcelain arm to tiny porcelain shoulder.
So much of time seems filled with repairing, maintaining, and renewing what’s already been done. The moments of decision and creation — when life is composed — are few.