Sunday, April 15, 2012
Throwing clay days = Therapy and Play.
When I throw, I am happy. I’m calm. I’m also a mess. I get clay on my clothes and in my hair. But it doesn’t matter because I’m the only one there, except my dog, Jilly. I wedge up various balls of clay. Gather up my tools, towels and water. Put on my apron and slap that clay on the wheel. As I center the clay, I center myself.
If this sounds a little too spiritual, here’s some reality for you. If I’m out of whack in body or mind, so is the clay. And as much as I push, squeeze or pull the clay, it only works when I stop. Take a breath. Listen not to my monkey mind but to the silent clay.
When I listen with my fingers, I succeed. I pull up the clay into a nice even cylinder, push it out and play with it a little. When I listen to my mind, I fail. I pull up an uneven wall, try to fix it and have it get more wonky than before. But I’m learning to trust my fingers and fix my mistakes. This pitcher? A mistake at first.
I love to throw. It’s play. And it’s my own private therapy. I succeed and fail and still feel satisfied. Even when I screw up and utter some bad words, no one hears me but my dog, Jilly. And I know, she’d never tell. Especially if I play ball with her afterward.