Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Lump of Clay

Last night I cut a large slab
of dark grey clay off the the block and got ready to wedge it.  I held it up and said, "Become something beautiful!", as if willing it to do so were enough.

A few minutes later as I sat down to the potter's wheel to throw, I asked Adam to carefully move the pots that I had thrown yesterday that were in my way. 

Do you see it coming?

I didn't see Adam pick up two pots at once, but about 10 seconds later I heard the dull thud and rumbly shatter of unfired greenware crashing onto the plaster slab.  I closed my eyes and gave a quiet (well, maybe not so quiet) sigh.  In the past three sessions of pottery making, I have lost one piece of pottery for every five I have thrown, either to sneeky toddler mits or to my own clumsiness. Frustration has been my pottery pal lately.  When I opened my eyes, Adam's huge, tragic, questioning eyes were settled on mine, his eyebrows nearly fused in the middle in remorse.

"It's just clay.  I can ake a new one" I mustered, an insincere warble in my voice, a hint of annoyance in my tone.  It had been the biggest and best pot I had managed to eek off the wheel in a year.  A large lump of clay is hard to center, and challenging to lift into a thin walled vessel that doesn't collapse.  But the look on his face told me that his heart was more fragile than that brittle clay pot.

The sadder he felt the less the pot mattered to me.  I shook off my pride.  "Adam, your heart means more to me than some dumb old pot" I said, this time with true conviction.  How many times have I made one of my children feel badly about something that really didn't matter at all?  Not today.  His face relaxed.  He cleaned up the mess.  I smilled at him and went back to my waiting lump of clay.

I am getting ready for my second Open Studio Sale.  I have gotten a late start on things, and as of today even decided I must postpone the sale a couple of weeks.  Broken washer.  Broken computer.  Broken pottery.

So during the day I do school with the kids, and sometimes a little laundry when the washer is cooperating.  And from 9 to midnight I work in the studio.  I hope each night that I can make something beautiful, but more important, I need to remember each day not to destroy the work of another Potter.

Heavenly Father gave me the job of tending his little vessels, his beautiful creations-in-progress.  I am a real clutz about it sometimes.  I forget how tender little feelings are.  I focus too much on the "teaching" and "disciplining" and not enough on the message being sent in my tone of voice, my expression... my sighs. 

I am a work in progress, too.

Aren't we all just lumps of clay?

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay,
and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

Other works in progress...

1 comment:

Joaquin the Chihuahua said...

Great story. :) And those eggs are like Christmas and Easter combined!