chalkboard bubble

Sitting here waiting for the gloryholes to heat up as the fog lifts on a winter morning, I slumped over my coffee to get warm and then sharply sat up straight, remembering this is the time I’d usually be on my mat in a yoga studio.

I’ve traded the hot shop for my weekend class with Domonick, a neuroscientist who specializes in mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and choreographs balletic vinyasas that are also symbolic exercises in navigating the things that distress us–personal shortcomings, social injustice–noting how our perceptions and fears get lodged in our bodies, finding ways to release them. The studio is placid, dimly lit, and there’s always music . . . an ambient softness.

Here the gloryholes are roaring, sparking my tinnitus (each ear has its own channel of aaaaaaaack), and the space is so bright: fluorescent bulbs, streaming daylight, flames blowing into chambers, cold cement beneath my little metal stool. I’m wearing jeans. I never wear jeans. Now I wear jeans.

And of course this is yoga too. Sitting in discomfort. Finding equipoise.

It’s Saturday morning and I’m not checking email or doing taxes or ruing the news or attempting to fix myself. It’s just me and the fire and the glass.

When you remove the gather of glass and carry it to the marvering table you have to keep turning your pipe, your eyes on the glass, to keep it from glugging off-center. Then you place it against the marver and gently roll it, elongating the glob before blowing. Somewhere in there I’ve already become nervous. I used to lose it coming out of the furnace, the place the hot glass lives, overcome by giddiness. I couldn’t pay attention to just one thing. Now I tend to lose it at the marver, anxious about the blowing to come (because I still haven’t figured that out either, and it hurts my lip), and my angles aren’t right as I approach the marver. I usually crunch the glob around and it gets too cold and iffy; then I blow into it anyway and sometimes a bubble forms and usually I have to start over.

But I’m not rehearsing that now. Instead I’m visualizing the glob centered on the pipe, and I’m bringing a healthy bubble into the world, and the room is roaring like the ocean, and I open the window to let in the breeze.