I’d like to say that this week has been an amazing array of big, grand and glorious things, events, sales and opportunities. I’d like to be able to look up at the sky and twirl like that opening scene from the TV show, Mary Tyler Moore. Or sing with free abandon(and on key) like Julie Andrews in the “Sound of Music”.
But all I can truthfully say is that I showed up and did the best I could do. All the time looking up at the sky and asking, “Is it all over, yet?”
Slapping, rolling, trimming and cutting.
Yup, the studio works doesn’t just give me something ‘to do’ to distract me from the current events swirling around, it saves me. Energizes me. And calms me.
Precisely trimming a teacup takes all my focus. My mind cannot wander, well, unless I want a footless cup. Or an uneven bowl bottoms. But there is no doubt one of the most therapeutic part is slapping that clay down during hand building. I don’t have a slab roller, so throwing the clay down on a canvas board with a slap is a way to wedge and shape it before I roll it out.
These are some of the many small steps it takes to make a finished bowl, teacup, vase, bird or ornament. Many days, it feels like nothing is getting done.
Wise words always help me.
Especially now, when I feel lost wise words of others help me find way. Martha Beck’s words landed in my inbox to save my day.
“Any action we take, at any given moment, is small; big achievements are simply accretions of many small acts. Creating a full, meaningful life doesn’t mean doing huge things. It means that we align each small step we take with our sense of what’s right. And that takes courage.”
Martha Beck’s advice, “Today, look for two or three opportunities to act in accordance with what you most value, even though it takes courage. Tomorrow, do the same thing. And every day after that. Years from now, people will tell you that you’ve done big things. You’ll know better, of course. But it will be wonderful all the same.”
I don’t know that people will tell me I’ve done big things. After all, my teacups are small. But I do know that 10 years ago, my small step was a throwing class once a week and now, I see shelves full of vases and bowls and mugs and jars and, yes, teacups. And my work is out there online and in galleries.
So, I know that once again, Martha Beck is right when she says, “It’s amazing how big a difference we can make over time, especially when all our small actions come together.”