Rough Opening

A Fierce Practice 11 8 17

If you are in the trades, you will know what rough opening means. It's the roughly estimated and doesn't-have-to-be-absolutely-perfect framing for an exterior window or door in a house. It's the hole in the skeleton that the door or window is soon nestled into. The measurements of the rough opening are always bigger than the thing that will sit inside it. And it doesn't have to be completely accurate. It's rough. It's an opening. It's a noun. (It's also a measurement, as in the rough opening is...)

If you happen to be a creative person who likes words and metaphors and knows nothing about the trades - rough openings has a lot of good potential. A rough opening is what it looks like (and feels like) every time a piece of huge equipment comes in to dig a huge hole or trench into the soil to bury something. It feels rough, violent, aggressive, and not precise. (Is there anything precise about having a huge backhoe dig a trench 40" wide to bury a water line that's barely 2" wide?)

Rough opening also sounds and feels like heart work. Good work. Verb work. The way we ply ourselves open to be vulnerable. To notice. To breathe. To become expansive again. It is a going against the grain of everything that wants to be hunched and concave. Especially now as we start to bundle up, bundle tight, drawing our own selves inward as days darken and warmth feels scarcer.

Whatever it is, it feels like something we could all use in slightly higher doses.

What is your rough opening?

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