Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brass Polishing Moments and Other Nuances

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,


  1. That was beautiful Brenda. Love how you summed it up so well in your last paragraph, especially "give the bits of your life beauty by enjoying them." I guess that's what I do and share through my camera while you do it with your words.

  2. Hey Sunshine Lady... you are superb at doing that with your camera. So glad you popped by and left your sunny footprint in my comment box!

  3. Hi Brenda, I just loved your post today! So often when I come to your blog I find that you have written about something that I was just thinking about! This morning I was looking at my mother's picture and remembering her telling me: "When you are really in love, you will just know it and you won't need to ask anyone and you won't feel afraid". You described that emotion so beautifully. That quiet, sure feeling of "just knowing". You are such a wonderful writer! Delisa :)

  4. The magic moment when you KNOW...yes, I have experienced that! It even applies to scrubbing the bathtub and cleaning the skillet!

    Your dancing lady is quite fetching in her exuberance!

  5. What words and style!
    Great post, though I haven't polished brass in years.
    Yes, I will give bits of my life beauty, and thanks for making my day better.

  6. What a wonderful post. It's true that some of the most profound lessons in life come from the mundane.

  7. thanks i'm enjoying my first day in iceland-need to blog about it...nice post! thought provoking

  8. Yes Brenda! LOVE the reminder of “Be present!” Also your thoughts this morning reminded me of my days growing up when my Mother and I often polished the silver for special holiday dinners. I rarely bring my silver out these days!😌~ Ann


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo