Essay

The Single Object At Home Edition: Small Circular Motions

While I was growing up, my dad had a piece of pumice sitting on the kitchen windowsill which he would use to sharpen the kitchen knife. Whetting the pumice under a running tap, he would hold the stone still in his hand while the knife moved over the stone’s surface in small circular motions.

I found this stone on a walk one day and made my own grinding stone. I use the same small movements my dad taught me, running the blade in a figure-8 over the surface remembering to keep a precise angle on the blade-edge.

Being confined to the house during this COVID-19 self-isolation period has been strange. I have never experienced time like this. I try not to worry about my dad, who is in his late 70s, and get some kind of solace thinking about him as I sharpen my knives.

Grinding stone. Image: Finn McCahon-Jones