Monday, November 12, 2007

What Work Isn't

I occasionally go on about cleaning my workspace, how tedious it is, how I put it off until it's nearly unmanageable, how crazy it makes me. But really, deep down, I love it.

The initial getting started part is always the most difficult -- like getting ready for the j-o-b and walking out the front door -- it's the first step toward getting to the work that is where the dread lies. Yes, dread is a good way of describing this feeling.

Once I begin, though, the feeling moves from dread (where will I put all this stuff? How will I organize it? How will I keep my workspace clean?) to magic. Something happens, something powerful, that changes the idea that this is work to the idea that this is play.

I rediscover forgotten bottles -- rare, sweet babies that throw their arms around me, drawing me down, and in there, too, lies a tiny kernel of dread.

For the most part, unless I'm working on a project, I avoid my workbench. It's cluttered and covered -- every inch of it -- with bottles of essential oils, absolutes, concretes, dilutions, projects stewing until their presentation dates arrive, stacks of notebooks, jars of glass pipettes soaking in alcohol, blending bottles, scales, perfumes for review- well, everything! Most of the blending I do is done at my computer desk, away from the amber glass menagerie, away from the temptations.

Because if I go there, if I walk to the bench with dust rag in hand, I will sit down. Then I will pick up a bottle, wipe it off and set it aside. Then I will pick out another bottle, wipe it off and I will not set it aside. I will open it and fall into its essence and work bottle to bottle this way until hours have passed and the workbench is still a cluttered mess and kids are coming home from school or from playing with friends and dinner is late and laundry isn't done and I have forgotten to pick up the cat from the vet's . . . and I am once again completely inspired, and out of time.

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