Hmm... I wonder how much brass there is to polish in this particular theatre?
Where I work isn't quite so fancy!
With hands busy polishing brass -- and there's quite a lot of it -- in the theatre of our local performing arts centre this past week, my mind and body also enjoyed the process of seeing railings dull with fingerprints begin to gleam and glisten again.
As you might imagine, the house lights in any performance theatre usually aren't the brightest bulbs in the pack, so I wondered how I would know in those dim corners when the brass railings were polished enough. It turns out there's a specific moment when the resistance of the cloth against the metal shifts and you feel as if it is gliding on ice. And, sure enough when I peer close, the brass is so shiny I can see my face in it.
Do you remember when your mother or grandmother -- maybe you do it now to your daughters and granddaughters -- used to say, after you'd query how much flour exactly do you put into the mixing bowl when preparing bread or perogy dough....Just until it feels right. Oh boy, yes, but when is that magic moment? How will I know? And the response comes back ... You'll know. (Mmmm, it seems to be the same less than satisfying answer a young woman receives when she begins to ponder how she will know if he's the right one.)
You just know sometimes. Other times it comes from experience. And practice. And being aware. Totally Present. To What You Are Doing. In The Moment. No matter how detailed the recipe, no matter how complete the directions or explanations, those almost inexplicable nuances and shades of recognizing the magic moment must come to each one individually. And they do. If we're watching for them.
I didn't realize polishing brasses could be so entertaining...and rewarding. But it really is fun to see dullness turn shiny. This morning one of the theatre technicians came bounding up the stairs to his perch in the loft, just as I was putting the final rub on the stair rail. I could see he was wondering (maybe he was mischievously tempted) if he should put his hand on it; I piped up that a person should let it shine at least three minutes before marring the gleam with a new fingerprint. He asked if that's what it said on the can... I quipped, 'Yes'. (I think he believed me, because he pulled his arms close to himself as he flew up the stairs).
So that's what's been meandering along the furrows and brass railings of my own mind early this morning. If there's a lesson in it, I guess it would be to be present to what you're doing, give the bits of your life beauty by enjoying them
, watch for the subtle shifts and changes around you. Because you'll never know when you'll catch glimpses of heaven in unexpected places -- shiny moments filling your life with new layers of richness, joy and fun.
Enjoy your moments, nuances and bits today,