And when I was 8 or 9, my dad told me not to worry--and it might still have been true at the time, and it was certainly true when my dad was in college--that when I got to college and took chem courses, I would automatically get taught glassblowing, at least the lab basics, and then I could figure out if I liked it and wanted to do the art part more as a hobby. It would be part of the lab sequence pretty early on, so I wouldn't even have to be a chem major, I'd just have to take some chem classes, which was a pretty safe assumption, we agreed. This course description was true for him. By the time I got to college, it was not at all true. Not only was it not early in the lab sequence, it wasn't available at all. Not to senior majors. Not to anybody. No glassblowing. Nor was my college atypical in this.
Fie, I said, but I had a lot going on, so I kept yearning silently and petting glass when it was not socially unacceptable to do so. And then I got out of college and still had a lot going on.
And then when we were no longer graduate students and maybe started to get ourselves together and could start to think of it, the vertigo struck. And I said all sorts of other words than fie. Because: hot molten glass, vertigo, what could possibly go wrong with that? So I thought, yah, I had better get this vertigo thing under control before I think about even looking for where I might start doing a beginner class in this glassblowing thing! Because really! I mean! What kind of a fool! Etc.! And so I didn't even talk about it much really. Because again: really! I mean! What kind of a fool! Etc.! The other night I was out for coffee with a friend who was talking about someone doing something implausible, and I blurted out, "Yes, and I'm going to dance with the Ballet Russe," and it felt about like that. After the Ballet Russe I'll take up glassblowing.
Except I actually wanted the glassblowing. Not as a career. Just, y'know. People are allowed to have hobbies. (Seriously, fellow writers! Sometimes this comes as news to us because writing starts kind of like that for a lot of people with day jobs and then is so not like that. But hobbies. People are.)
Fast forward to the present. Where: this vertigo thing. Is it under control? Ha ha ha, she laughed hollowly, like fun it is. ("Ohhhh," say several of you sadly, who were hoping that this was that triumphant post. No. It is not that triumphant post. It is a different triumphant post.)
Except...I don't really like that mode where there's a thing you want and you just sit and want it. I don't like that mode at all. So I was looking online. And there are these people up in the city. And they do this thing, where for not very many of my American dollars, I can go do a session with a master glassblowing type artist person, one-on-one, and this person can have my limitations explained and will be there and can answer my ten million questions. So I can be there and feel the feels and smell the smells. And see what I can do safely and what I can't do safely. And then ask the ten million more questions I didn't know to ask before I was smelling the smells. And we can see if there's a way for me to make it safe to take it farther than this one-on-one session, either with more sessions or with classes.
Then I brought this up on the phone with my best-aunt. (I have a lot of great-aunts. Some of them are really quite good. This one is the greatest-aunt. Therefore she is my best-aunt.) She also loves glass. It's the Smålander in her maybe. Anyway. I knew she would understand and be excited for me, so I called to tell her. And it turns out she knows these people at this glass studio that do this thing I am doing. And she says they sometimes have done classes for people with mobility disabilities. And maybe they will be doing a class like that in the future, or maybe they will just know enough from past classes to be able to adjust stuff for me and be able to tell me what to do and how to do it so that I can do the actual learning, not just the single one-on-one hand-holding session and be safe.
So at least once. And maybe several times. But definitely at least once. Molten glass and me. Without everything having to be fixed with the vertigo. Without everything having to be okay. Just--this thing that I want. I get to actually do it. It isn't the Ballet Russe, it's actually paid for and it's just down to calling and getting it on the actual calendar, right next to friends' birthdays and dentist appointments. Because it's a real thing.
I am kind of overwhelmed about this. I am really pretty excited. I had gotten pretty used to the concept of no. And yes is a pretty big door to open, even though I'm not planning to rearrange my life around spending hours every week in the glass studio. Something is so much more than nothing. Yes is so much more than no.
I'll let you know how it goes.