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12.20.2010

What We Really Control

Silver Lunn flute section detail
The one room that has stayed the same through the renovations that made room for our extended family to move in is my small workshop. It’s an 8x12 room with built in benches, tools and a window. I head down there late most nights and turn on the TV for background while I start working and shaping silver into pieces of art and flutes. This is my sanctuary, an oasis of ancient familiarity. All things in my life may change and swirl around but for 35 years I’ve been forming silver and gold into flutes and it’s the one thing I count on to be the same. The tools and benches and feel of the metal, the magnifiers on my head, the movies I listen to like favorite records over and over, enjoying the best lines and letting the rest flow past like tunes on the stereo. All of this is peaceful, even if there is stress in the work or a deadline to meet because the craft is consistent, unlike the behavior of children or the uncertainty of business and town life. Behind that door, I’m in control of this environment.

I work until three a.m.. The house is still when Bunnie and I emerge. I hang a last bit of laundry, make sure the boys are sleeping well, turn off any lights, and let the older dogs out for a pee and a snack. If the weather is clear I step out to watch the night go by for a couple of minutes. The stars and moon lighting the hills in white, perhaps a planet might be gracing the sky along with the constellations that are as familiar to me as the streets I drive by day. We live on an amazing little wet rock in a universe so huge that I take comfort in our insignificance. I want no control over that.

Everything in between is up for grabs.