When Patrick spends time in the potting shed, he is generally putting seeds and seedlings into tender soil. When I am potting, however, it is usually with that gardener’s nemesis, clay. I mentioned early in our PDX tenure that I’d found a local art studio and was planning to take a pottery class. I have done sotaken two sessions nowand it’s been wonderful. Though I’ve resisted throwing on a wheel for years, I find that I love it. It is one of those activities for me that requires and reinforces a state of being that is elusive in everyday life. When I sit at the wheel to center a mound of clay, if I am not there in my mind, in myself, then the clay will not center. To center the clay, I must center myself. And then, once I begin, the practice itself pulls me deeper into myself, helping me to achieve something like what I imagine meditation is supposed to do. My mind clears of all the scraps and rubble of undone tasks and shopping lists and insecurities. I sit at the wheel and feel the clay between my palms and my fingertips, and that’s all. Clay has always done this for me, more than any other craft or art, though material arts always create a space of peace for me. After this class ends, I am going to take advantage of their hourly rates, and continue to try to make it there a couple times a week. The only problem will be what to do with all the pots . . .
Here’s a link to some of my efforts with a bit of commentary.