Before T is the heavy cardboard box she visits frequently. Sitting on the new padding she was pleased she had added to the old worn wooden barstool recently salvaged from the pile of discarded furniture on its’ way to the recycling center. The mystery of how this works never ceases to intrigue her. Residing in the dark place again, she finds herself sitting in front of a cardboard box in her most feared of all areas.

Feeling no sense of time or place, always sensing cold, nearly permanently paralyzed, her mind is swimming with regret over too many negative decisions. Negative results. Guilt over tasks still undone. People she pushed away. Phone calls ignored. Places unvisited, things too numerous to list, deeply felt like a heavy anchor pulling her down but would not be forgotten. The heavy cardboard box remains closed.

T’s attempt to concentrate through the darkness of her mind on making breathing rhythmic. Deep belly breath in, hold it, push out slowly from pursed lips, focus; the initial steps to lifting the box lid, revealing this particular mystery on this particularly dark day. Afraid and anxious all at the same time, wondering, what if it doesn’t work this time? How can it not work? But will it?

Time passes. Who knows how many minutes, anticipation builds. Finally came the fortitude. Take another deep breath, hold it, let it out slowly between those pursed lips, and……ever so slowly lift that hinged lid to open the box. Unaware of anything but the song, she heard a sweet harmony coming forth.

Each equally sized, perfectly measured piece twinkles and beckons to her, select ME. Fingers dance gingerly over familiar glass samples. Feeling the blood pumping in her heart, at her temples. By touch alone with closed eyes, she plucked a glass sample from the box. Opening her eyes to see, T found the glass selected is green. It feels hard and cold in her hand at first.

The first sample selected is a textured glass. As the artist continued to hold the piece in her hand, she began to feel it warming. Fingers explore the texture on the face side in contrast to the smoothness of the reverse. The green-ness is hypnotizing. Hands signal brain to notice warmth in the glass, or is it in the hands? The warm interaction is as delicious as the deep, transparent color. Reveling in the intensity it invokes; fingers linger on that solitary sample before moving onto another. Returning to the original piece randomly selected on the table, the exercise continues until seven glass samples are chosen, representing the number of days the dark time has lasted.

Sometimes at this point, T’s mind has already begun to assemble a new design to create. Other times the colored, textured pieces bring a distant memory or special feeling of calm, never sure which will reveal itself first. The color green reminiscent of spring, the St. Patrick’s Day that T’s Irish grandmother loved to celebrate, and her various gardens waiting to be preened and awoken. She loves to watch the first tiny shoots reaching through the rich seafood compost toward the warm rays of spring sunshine, growing the healthy vegetables and herbs she eats. There it is! A sudden thawing, defrosting. Sensing something; at last replacing the numbness inside. The sample box has worked its magic again.

T is most importantly thankful for her sense of touch, sight, and finally the ability to create something beautiful from cold glass objects. Her talented hands have learned their skills well and she has many. Forged once again forward through the tunnel of darkness, utilizing inanimate objects to restore some feeling inside what she believed was her deadened, black within.

T is a proud woman to have self-taught most of what she knows, resarching, educating, learning to use her hands to create beautiful objects and interesting stories. The mechanics of the human brain: wondrous. The brain-organ is the nerve center of our world, the database of who and what we are.

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