Deep in our prevailing cultural paradigm is belief in progress--its importance, its very necessity, and its attainment through work. Work, work work. According to one of our stories this tiresome state of affairs is a punishment:
"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken;
for dust you are and to dust you will return." (Genesis 3:17-19, New Int'l Version)
It is hard to undo work one has done. Frustration, annoyance at oneself and others, a kind of illness with the whole enterprise (how stupid to even think of making a farm!), flower up. But there are other stories, alternatives to the "progress or die" worldview. I suppose the creation and destruction of sand mandalas (10 days condensed into 3 minutes here) practiced by Tibetan monks is an apt reminder of an alternative, since we're on the topic of building (or trying to build) a barn. All is fleeting when looked at from the right perspective. Investment in accomplishment, even in something as paltry as a few holes in the ground, is bound to lead to suffering. So...might as well take a gander at the pigeons heading home for their evening roost, then hire the guy to plow in your holes, and start over. Which is what we did.