I hesitated to find the broken art bowl on the shelf of fired ceramics Monday evening. I admit I had to work up a bit of courage.
What was I afraid of?
Why did it matter so much to me how it turned out?
Was I more afraid of your reaction to the appearance of the bowl or mine?
Wow. Where did this ego-based line of questions come from?
Plain and simple; I made myself vulnerable in a very public forum.
Out of all the items I created in ceramics class, none of them carried the weight of perfection like this bowl. In hindsight I see that I set a public goal to create a mystical piece to impress YOU with my creative skills to heal my grief-stricken heart. Instead, I put myself on trial – trial by fire (kiln, actually). There I go again, worrying what others think of me.
A few of the gals in class know the backstory to the bowl and what the intended accomplishment I wanted to gain from it. A young woman, who was unfamiliar to this project, picked it up from the place I set it on the classroom table, and said, “Wow, look at the detail from the embedded coils. This is pretty awesome. Who made this?” My heart beat perked up. A second gal approached her and admired it, as well. My heart skipped a beat with excitement. One of the women who witnessed my creative agony with the bowl (and this blog post series) gave me the best verbal high-five and pat on the back with her statement, “This is beautiful.” What was I so worried about? Everything.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. -Marie Curie
Life Moves On With, or Without, Us
Today, in a state of reflection, I understand the grand purpose in creating this particular bowl.
I placed my existence on pause with the belief I was healing my unbearable wound. I was wrong. Not only did I shut down, but I turned a cold shoulder to all that reached out to me as I rolled over in bed and pulled the sheets over my head. I have much work to do as I pick up my broken pieces and pay the consequences of my choice to stop being. As a dear friend of mine continues to say, “Baby steps.” I shall get through this; it is my journey to traverse. It is up to me to determine how gracefully I live life in motion.
My broken art bowl will be used in my kitchen and on my dining room table. It will serve as a reminder that life is an amazing adventure no matter what we experience.
I raise my mug of lukewarm tea to my monitor in an effort to say, “Cheers to us. May we always be able to find the elements that mend our hearts.”
A Moment of Gratitude
To the individual(s) who gifted me the fee for the October and November ceramics classes ~ I thank you. Your kindness fills my heart with love and gratitude. Each item I created (and scraps I tossed into the clay recycle bucket) carries the energy of your gift; your kindness will continue to expand and grow. This year has been the hardest this mother could bare. I realized in August I was no longer capable of feeling anything and I allowed every aspect of my life to wither away as more dominoes of momma-grief fell harder than the previous block. Art is healing me. It is through the action of doing art that I am expressing what words cannot and I am seeing the beauty in what is. I coined the phrase “Life is an amazing adventure” years ago when life was good and bountiful. I have continued my mantra in these darkest of days to help light my way through 2017. Thank you for being a part of my healing journey. I appreciate you more than I could ever express in words. It will be an honor to pay your gift forward. May our creative voices be heard, felt and inspire others to live their life in forward motion.
To Jenn Ryan ~ thank you reaching out to me in September for an evening of painting and tea. What transpired that evening was a miracle. You cracked open my heart and listened. You reminded me that emotions appear on the canvas in unexpected ways and it is healing to create. We are powerful creators. I simply needed an outlet to let “IT” out of my momma-grief-stricken mind.
“Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say.” —Alice Walker
As for the wormy carcasses, I am going to take them to class with me tonight and gently place them in the bucket of clay to be recycled. They served their purpose. There is no need to hang onto them and display their lifelessness on a shelf. It is time to let them go so they can teach someone else the true meaning of art therapy.
“Art is not the end result; it’s the process of creating it.” -Peter Kitti