The designs for the deck bring to mind paper folded fans, a portion of a seashell, the golden spiral. This is the before.

Today, dismantling what was there, installing flashing, eight feet up on the ladder, arms above the head, lugging twelve-foot pressure-treated four-by-tens across the yard until my forearms screamed, gave a physical introduction of what the next month will hold. And it was all optimism, the freshness of a big new project. We talked of how strong we’ll get, and how beautiful this deck could turn out to be.

It exists now in the imagination alone, like the cool air from a folded fan waved in front of your face.