From The Storyteller
March 4, 2019 Clay
We’re watching a man turn a wheel slowly with a foot peddle. He’s running his fingers over a lump of clay. Gradually the lump begins to look like a bowl or maybe a vase. Abruptly the wheel stops, and the guy squeezes the clay back into a lump, gets up, lights a cigar, and starts to walk away. He is muttering about too much noise. I think this is a strange comment because, except for a gentle breeze outside, I hear nothing. I apologize to him, thinking somehow we made the noise. He stops, smiles and says, “It’s not you. It’s the noise in my head.
When my thoughts start wandering I lose the feel of the clay, and my lack of respect for the clay results in a poor piece.” The man, through the molding of clay, is striving to share his particular gift with the world, and for him a “quiet mind” is a necessary part of that sharing. This man is in his 50’s, and had been making pottery for only 3 years. He had made a lot of money in business, but never felt satisfied. While he still had his business interests, he offered that it is in the molding of clay that he finds his joy.
This triggered memories from 60+ years ago when my mother would put color to a clean canvas with amazing, prize-winning results. She spoke of her art as a way of sharing the gift that existed within her. I know she found joy in painting.
She only painted late at night when the house was still. She said, “The quiet helps the colors flow better.” I suspect it was her way of telling me she needed a “quiet mind” for her gift sharing.
Moral: For some, a “quiet mind” makes gift sharing and joy possible.