Monday, February 7, 2011

Shaping Rocks, Spouses and Children

I collect rocks. Anyone would know this after reading a few blog entries. I take some rough but promising stones and throw them into a tumbler. After several steps, various abrasives, and many weeks, I bring them out and admire their smooth, polished surfaces--which are often quite impressive (at least to me).

Though I appreciate their overall beauty, I am sometimes distracted by a perceived shortcoming; either they're not symmetrical enough to suit me or there's a tiny flaw that jars against my idea of perfection.

So I turn on my grinding wheel with its hard diamond coated surface and attempt to correct their overall form.

While attempting to reshape the smaller of these rocks, I often feel friction building up under my hands. If I continue, pressing on to complete this transformation, disaster follows. The stone is ripped from my hands by the increasing pressure and smacks against the metal casing beneath the wheel. Usually, the stone is unharmed.

But my hands continue their momentum toward the high-speed wheel. Often I lose a little skin and sometimes I bleed. These days, I seldom insist that a stone conforms to my need for perfection.

And larger rocks? Best leave them alone. Their faults and beauties lie so deep, it takes a long time to produce any observable change. And when I persist, their natural beauty is often marred in the attempt to erase some relatively minor flaw.

Can anything be learned from my observations, aside from tragic hindsight?
Not sure.