Saturday, March 21, 2020

How are you feeling?

I know it’s been a turbulent week all over the world for all of us. It’s overwhelming. It’s scary. In times like these, I want to reach out, help out and do something. But instead we are all being told to stay in, stay away and maintain distance from each other. 

As a born problem solver, I’m totally frustrated because this is a problem I cannot solve. I’ve been diving into denial. Is this real? Is this really true? We’ve had tons and tons of viruses the world over for thousands of years and we’ve never shut down cities, countries or borders like this. What or who does this kind of worldwide panic serve?

I’m pissed. 

Over and under my fear, anger has crackled through me. I flipped off another driver in a parking lot. I got in an argument with my husband who is my love, best friend and supporter in all things. Why? Because I am really scared and I didn’t want to admit it. So I got angry instead. 

Now, I do have some really good reasons to be mad. And sad, too. 

One gallery closed in December. Another new gallery closed until further notice due to the virus. Another gallery show I entered for March/April was cancelled with a notice that it might be rescheduled if/when the crisis is over. Add to all this, my biggest show of the year in May is cancelled, period, for the year.

As an artist, these are huge losses. Not just financial but creative as well. I work hard to create and make ceramic work to sell at galleries and shows. Last year, I saw my sales grow as my newest body of work gained more attention from art lovers. As my pieces went from my hands into others hearts and homes, I worked even harder to create more. 

Now it all sits, stacked on shelves with nowhere to go. I, too, feel I have no where to go. 

So, I wonder. I wander.  And I walk.

The park. My park. My trees. The lake and my dog and my husband are keeping me sane right now. The woods have always been my escape from a hectic world. And my oasis from overwork and over worry. 

It’s also my creative inspiration. The texture of the bark. The colors of the leaves. The chatter of the crows. The faces in the clouds. The peaceful floating of the geese and ducks on the softly waving water.

And I come back to my heart and my hands. 

I live to create. All the things I see and love and breathe come out through my hands. My masks are the faces in the trees and clouds. My cups have heart shaped leaves. My bowls and jars have spirals, hearts and words I hear in the trees. My lily vases come from my love of the flowers in my garden. 

Lately, I’ve been throwing tea cups. I’ve always loved china tea cups with their delicate curves, shapely handles and colorful patterns. I never thought about making them until my granddaughter asked to use my china tea cups at our luncheon tea parties. I decided she needed to have her own tea cups. 

Throwing them is easy and relaxing. Trimming them into graceful curves requires complete concentration. I love making each delicate foot and pulling each small curved handle and adding a new little leaf and spiral. 
What I didn’t realize is that I needed my own tea cups, too. Especially now. 

Holding a delicate cup filled with warm, scented tea is just what I need to soothe my soul. 
Making them relaxes my heart. 
The beauty in my hand and in the park gives me hope. 
And these feelings are how I’m getting through the day right now. 

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