words and images by mk swanson
Refinishing Meditation

Refinishing Meditation

I am struggling with a decision.

Do I continue working a difficult temporary job or quit and devote myself to a technical book I’m writing with David, a novel I need to send out again, one I need to finish,  one I need to get going on, and a non-fiction book I’m editing? The first book has a buyer, the last is by a previously published writer, Geraldine Williams. (The link shows one of three books she wrote or co-wrote.)

I also need to spend some time on my bookstore, Read (Think) Books. It is doing very well, thanks to Kristin, but I want to add more display, tame the two storage units, create a website, and create some advertising.

So I did what I always do when I’m under stress. Refinish furniture.

This time it’s painting a very rough old bookcase I plan to take to the store, but earlier this week, it was a Drexel coffee table.

  • I begin by readying my tools, placing my object and putting on the appropriate gloves, clothes, shoes, and protective gear.
  • I examine the piece to see where to begin, or where to pick up after I left off the last time.
  • I pick up sander, brush, rag, saw, screw gun or hammer and begin.
  • Each step is focused and repetitive. I refine my technique, pull my mind back to the task when it wanders.
  • I think of very little else while I work.
  • At the end, I tidy away the tools and the object.

Come to think of it, gardening is also a meditation practice.