When I first started in this glass work, five years ago, my level of calm around so many breakables in a small space was close to non-existent. On my first day I think I broke two pieces. (Don't know why M. let me stay!)
Since then, it's been an ever-increasing choreography of body and glass. In the home-factory as well as the studio, we manoeuvre unwieldy (and heavy) cases of raw material around dozens of martini glasses and vases large and small. (As well as around one very large cat who likes nothing better than to spread out in the middle of it all and sleep.) Going around corners has become a geometrical calculation, at which, surprisingly, I've become quite skilled.
Some days I feel awash in packing peanuts and the sharp edges of cardboard -- which can inflict a nasty slice on the hand. But the actual breaking of glass is a much more rare occasion these days.
Wherein I introduce the lingering theme of the heart, so present of late. Like glass, a heart is tempered by the fires of many years of living and loving. Left untouched on a shelf, the likelihood of breaking is next to nil. Introduce the metaphorical earthquake, and it shatters all to hell. Sometimes the impact shatters the shards to the next continent --
I walk with ease amongst the daily glass of my craft. But the human heart and all its vulnerabilities seems likely to shatter at any moment. Certainly the fires have blazed long enough, frequently enough and with sufficient heat to make mine seem able to bounce -- but then there's the fact of flesh, of tissue, of touch.
I will not let my heart become an untouchable objet on a shelf.
Therefore, subject to breaking, and gluing back together, and tempering. Repeat. This seems to be the practice of my living.
And so off I head to another day amidst the angles and sharp edges of not only glass, but life itself.