As I made this small treasure jar, I imagined it sitting sweetly waiting to hold little bits of joy. But as you can see, this jar is broken. And, worse yet, I broke it. Unloading the kiln load, I picked it up off the tray, the lid slipped out of my hand and crashed to the hard floor.
Picking up the pieces of joy.
As I searched the floor for the pieces, hoping I'd find one big chunk, all I found were clay crumbs. Nothing big enough to fill the gap in the lid appeared, yet I couldn't throw the jar away. So I put the jar with it's broken lid on the shelf above my work area thinking that I'd find a way to put it all back together.
What if? I came up with ideas to save it. What if I never glazed it but just kept it at bisque stage, made a piece to fit, glued it in and painted it to match? What if I only glazed the inside of the jar, then, after the final firing, I could make a faux piece out of epoxy and paint it to match.
I heard myself say, "Let the joy jar go."
But there it sat on the shelf. Still. I kept working on new pieces, more and more treasure jars appeared on my shelves, but noting like the little joy jar. I kept on working figuring that somehow it wouldn't matter so much anymore. I'd have other jars that were better and taller. Unbroken. Perfect.
Or, I could just make another joy jar. Somehow, it just didn't happen. I didn't make another one. When it came time to glaze my other pieces and do a final firing, I did glaze the inside of the joy jar. It did go into the kiln broken lid and all.
It came out perfectly imperfect.
And every time I see it, I smile. And my heart glows just a little bit, knowing that joy doesn't need to be perfect to be joyful.