Thursday, March 21, 2013


I loaded the kiln. I pushed the button and turned the knobs to low, medium and finally, high. At 11:15 p.m., the kiln was off. The cool down began.

Now the only thing for me to do is wait.

It’s so tempting to go down there, lift the lid and peak inside. I want to see that all the bowls, mugs, vases and plates are ok. But I can’t. The kiln is still warm to the touch on the outside and a quick test of the peep hole feels very warm. My garage on the other hand is cold. If I give in to temptation and raise the lid, the difference between the temperature in the kiln and garage could cause my pieces to crack or break. And after all the time throwing, trimming, under glazing and glazing, the last thing I want is a broken pieces.

So, I wait.

While I wait, I fight between doing and non-doing.

I clean brushes. Recycle newspapers. Mop the floor. Make drawings for painting green ware pieces that are too wet to paint yet. I rearrange my studio shelves and almost break several pieces. I get the message, get out of the studio.

So, I go.

I go to yoga. I see that, maybe, it’s time to embrace the Zen idea of non-doing. How do I do that? Well, doing it or anything isn’t the point, is it? It’s time for a little R&R. So I do what I normally do. Read a magazine. Search for dinner recipes online. Redecorate my tables for spring with fresh flowers, painted eggs and, well, you get the idea. It’s not exactly non-doing that I’m doing, is it? Nope. It takes spilling my cup of green tea to wake me up to the fact that I am doing a lot that usually means I’m really running from fear.

So, I sit.

I pull a few cards from my Zen Tarot deck. What do I get? Guilt. Turning In. Receptivity. Existence. My guilt is keeping me doing. I feel bad about not working even though it’s my hard work that has filled the kiln and another batch is waiting to fill it. It’s time to Turn In, like the cards say, and watch my monkey mind swing around me with amusement. Allow me to be Receptive (open) to what really matters, that I Exist here and now.

So, I close my eyes. Breathe. Watch. Listen. Open up.

And, of course, wait.

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