The daily grind

At 8 a.m. today I was grinding.

Not coffee. Not my teeth. Not at the proposal budget due tomorrow.

I stood for half an hour in front of the grinder, feeling my way with bits of glass.

It made the whole day go better.

The glass grinder is a fairly simple machine. Physically it’s a big plastic base for the motor, and the functional part is just a grinding bit that’s about an inch in diameter. Add water and a bit of wet sponge to contain the glass dust. Flip the switch and the bit goes around. That’s it.

Hold the glass against the grinding bit, and it slowly gets eroded.

It feels lovely.

The noise of the motor didn’t bother me. The risk of ripping my fingertip didn’t bother me. The slowness of the process didn’t bother me.

Like everything else to do with fused glass, it’s pure meditation.

I love feeling that tiny amount of give as I press the glass against the bit.

I work at making my movements fluid, so that the glass edge is a smooth line.

I watch the power of slow, steady abrasion to turn sharp edges into lovely curves.

There is nothing else in my mind. It doesn’t matter that I will have to spend the better part of today to do tedious budget work. Now is all that matters.

I hold the glass against the bit. I watch it take shape. I breathe slowly and steadily.

glass jumping

Each bit of glass has been cut or snapped as I searched for its inner shape. The grinder lets the shape dance. As though I am freeing a spirit that’s been trapped.

I can’t believe that I don’t start every day doing this.

I think I will sleep better tonight.

Today’s penny is a 2015, the year I first held glass against a grinding bit.