I make pots because something very primal and important to me is trying to be expressed. Something inside of me wants out and the only way I’ve ever known to calm that raging monster is to trust my hands in the clay and dance with the mud and fire.
Once the pot is done, there is still so much left for me to do as an artist. I want to share that pot with the world and I do that through my photos. Half of the creation and expression that started when I wedged that lump of clay is yet to happen even after it has been fired. I’m still getting to know that pot, there is still a discovery process taking place. That’s what happens when I live with a pot for a while, and then eventually take it outside to photograph it.
This particular pot has been living with me for some time now. It came out of the kiln last summer. Then today it started talking to me from across the room.
It’s been a brutal couple of weeks, weather swinging from 70 degrees then in less than 48 hours temperatures plunging to single digits with wind chills below zero. Wind, snow, crushing pressure swings making my body ace and my soul long for warmth that just doesn’t seem to ever really settle into my bones. Life doing the same. Highs and lows, death and circumstances in and out of my control shaking my nerves, throwing me out of center. Chaos and noise unwelcome and unpleasant. Intrusions, old ghosts, bad people and hurtful intentions. Disappointment and fear.
But also strong calming forces. Inspiration and wisdom, soul music. Remembering. A lifelong strong and steady partner speaking reminders of what is really true and what is inside of each of us….an invincible summer.
This pot is me today. Standing tall in the harsh cold landscape of winter. Each black streak a mark of unique beauty, mirroring the dark branches of the trees staying strong and steady through the winter months, deep inside a life force unseen but ready to awake at the first light of spring. Soon those branches now barren and cold will bloom with new life and spread out and provide a blanket of shade for the forest below. In the meantime I stand in awe of the beauty that is there in this very moment.
And that is what my pot spoke to me of this cold February Sunday. It spoke to me of contrast and the beauty of every moment…even the hard ones. It spoke to me of the ever present and ever constant life force within all living things and how redemption is found in loving what is and standing in the stark landscape of whatever moment I find myself in. I am that pot, I am the winter and I am the summer and all is well.