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A Glass Gift

Hannah Lupse, Contributor

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     Paige had always loved art. She took to the classic form of painting and drawing, devoting herself to her work. Paige decided to not go to any sort of college or university after she graduated high school, which was much to her parents’ discomfort, but they believed in her talent. Paige stayed with her parents and made beautiful paintings, however the art world was tough to succeed in and Paige was left struggling to make a name for herself even after a long time. This caused her to lose faith in her future, and she lost touch with her former self. She began to have depressive episodes, as not being able to make a career out of what she loved discouraged her, especially since she skipped college to pursue her dream. For about a year, Paige fell into a slump, and her art reflected it. There were so many incredible artists out there that Paige felt inferior to, making her think that she had overestimated her abilities. Concerned about her, Paige’s best friend Grace invited her to come along on a brief vacation with her at her parents beach house. Paige finally agreed, being told that the fresh ocean air and calming waves may do her some good. She tried to enjoy her stay, but it seemed like everywhere she went in the coastal town she passed by some sort of artist’s booth, which only reminded her of her failure. Her sadness got to a point where she didn’t want to go visit anymore places, so one night she stayed at home in the beach house and told her friend to go out without her. Paige, alone with her thoughts, decided to go outside and walk on the beach to attempt to clear her mind. It was raining, but she felt numb and the water droplets splattering all over her left her unfazed. As she walked on the sand, she witnessed a thunderstorm form. She watched it and thought that it reflected her own inner state, with everything turbulently swirling around. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning struck the ground not too far from her, and she felt the ground shake beneath where she sat. Now sprawled on the ground, Paige shakily sat up and saw a burning black spot not too far away. As she began to make her way toward it, she heard some raggedy footsteps behind her. An old man was hobbling next to her. He smiled at her and said “Oh good! You can help me.” Paige followed him to the blackened spot, where Paige gasped. The old man chuckled. “Beautiful isn’t it? That right there is silica glass. The sand fuses together,” he said. She watched the old man carefully harvest the glass once it cooled, fascinated.

    “What are you going to do with it?” Paige asked.

    “Well, if you come to my workshop I can show you. You seem like you need a distraction,” the man said with a friendly smile.

     Paige ultimately decided to walk the frail man to his workshop, where she saw beautiful glass sculptures on shelves. They took her breath away. The man sat down and began to reheat the glass. As he worked, he explained how he reshaped the glass to make his sculptures. “Come, have a try,” he said, beckoning Paige over. Paige slowly sat down and took a deep breath. She moved her hands according to his guidance and focused on channeling her desired shape into the glass. Surprisingly, the glass cooperated quite smoothly. Excited, Paige continued to work until a finished glass butterfly emerged. The old man, who had been silent for a while, laughed with delight. “You’re a natural!” he exclaimed. The old man showed her how to heat another piece of glass and let her have another go. Inspired, Paige stayed up all night making sculptures, her ecstasy keeping her wide awake. That was the start of Paige’s lessons with the old man, which would go on to help her realize that she could in fact succeed in doing what she loved, art. However, she had never imagined she would end up selling glass masterpieces to fascinated tourists. Although for a while she did not think it possible, Paige’s dream came true in an unlikely way due to perseverance, the kindness of a stranger, and a thunderstorm.

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