Friday, June 4, 2010

My new toy

It hasn't arrived yet, but I am so excited about this:

my new Lortone 45C rock tumbler. Ever since my good friend, Helen Ketteman, opened my eyes to the amazing treasures under my feet on the beach at Shangri-Lar, I have been fascinated with rocks.

I've found rocks that look like my grandma's old linoleum floor, rocks that I can see the layers of mud from which they were formed (would that be a palimpsest?), and rocks that are just plain cool. Now, I've never been as lucky as my little sis who actually found a chunk of jade on her beach, but I feel I've found some doozies.

Don't you think we writers are rock tumblers ourselves? We take the lumpy, bumpy stuff of rough drafts and tumble them around in our heads until they're polished and smooth. And here's the amazing thing I learned: it can take weeks or even a month to get a rock polished just so. No instant gratification here! The final product must roll around and around, slowly but surely, in a metal container with the right amount and right size of grit, in order to produce the desired results.

I saw a lesson for myself in this revelation: perhaps I should be a bit more patient with myself when the work I'm polishing takes longer than I think it should to acquire a shine.

3 comments:

  1. When I was growing up, I had a neighbor with a rock tumbler. I used to find cool rocks and swap them for polished ones. Oh, how I loved that woman. (I also brought her the first tooth I lost, and she came to my wedding 12 years ago.)

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  2. That's why I have rocks in my head!

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