The truck arrived yesterday with furniture from my childhood. The pieces are being handed down to my daughter who turns 14 next week. One simple piece holds special memories - a vanity that was my great grandmother's, Marina Benzoni.
I spent many afternoons in front of the vanity staring in the mirror wondering what I would look like at age 21, 30, and 40. Each of those birthdays have long passed. I look in the mirror now and see the woman I am today.
Before the vanity moves into my daughter's room, it must be refinished. As was the trend in the early 1970's, my mother painted it antique white and gold. Growing up, I always wondered what the wood looked like beneath the layers of paint. I have been stunned in amazement by the process these past 2 days.
As I apply the stripper, I marvel how quickly the paint lifts. I have refinished furniture before and this is the fastest reaction I have ever seen. The paint literally lifts up as a sheet as soon as I apply the chemical.
I've seen this reaction in myself and my students, too. When there's a catalyst for change we will quickly shed off the adorned layers revealing a rough, dried and stained surface underneath. The next step is to neutralize the situation then sand smooth the remaining rough spots with a very delicate hand & super fine grit. This refinishing process is much like our therapeutic movement work. The natural beauty shines out at this stage - and is accentuated with stain and a clear coat.
Underneath all those layers of 40-year old paint, the vanity revealed a spectacular zebra wood.
What's been hiding beneath the surface is quite special.
We are too.
My each of us continue to re-finish.