musings and essays

thirtythree wip #2 OR listening & winning a battle with self

This one, I thought it was “done” today; I thought it was “done” at about the stage here in this picture — the “done” with shaping and time for drying and burnishing.  Even though along the way, on and off, I would see a larger object in my mind, this object larger, I should say.   I just kept on doing what I do, what came to me. For instance, one area I pinched really thin. I asked myself while I was doing it, “really?” and the answer was “yes.” And then I imagined punching with my fist out from the inside here and there, so I did. After a time or two around parts of the punches got thinned or rubbed out or something – not necessarily on purpose, not consciously, I just did what I was doing and was not feeling that I was doing the “wrong” thing so kept going. I got the idea to jam my thumb into it in one spot, so I did.  That’s still there as of right now. I cleaned up the rim a bit, still feeling it was “done.” And I gave the whole thing, as much as was close to leather hard, a sort of burnish with a plastic rib.


And then I started to see it – it should be taller. “No, it’s ‘done.’” <it should be taller.> “but isn’t it done? It’s close to leather hard. That one part is really thin, can it take more?” <this will be the first time you don’t listen. Why wouldn’t you listen? Because re-hydrating will be hard?> the question sat there.  Sort of uncomfortably, which should have been enough for me to know. “Re-hydrating is not hard.” I reassured myself.  “Why do you even want to fight yourself? Do you?” Maybe because I’m checking this process? Maybe. I wanted to run some errands, the toilet flap thing broke today, I wanted to replace that. I wanted some Epsom salt b/c I hurt my back, strained my muscles or something (I think doing a break-dance move celebrating the outcome of the election this weekend) and was trying to take care of it – a bath sounded nice. So I decided to leave it, the thing I was making. Let it sit. Don’t be hasty. Give it some space.

As I was out, I kept picturing it taller. Not in any real specific way, but not “done,” as I had left it. I got home a couple hours later and looked at it again. I stood there with it. Drying and drying. I touched it. Smoothed some areas. It was getting close to time to give it a full rub with a polished stone, if it’s “done.” Time to decide. <why would you go against what you’ve been doing? And, really, if you do go against listening, you’ll miss what will happen, what you’ll learn, what will come out? Why would you do that!? and, you’ll always wonder.>

So, I brushed water around the whole rim, picturing making really thin coils and making it happen, all with excitement to see what comes of it. Then I soaked 2” strips of cloth and laid them over the rim to help re-hydrate the rim and a bit so I can attach coils and make it taller. So that is where it is. We’ll see.

How we create, work, make  – what we do and don’t do, rules we make for ourselves, even if that means “no rules,” is so interesting. I’ve been just listening with these objects I’ve been making. Maybe I’ll come to a point where I plan more – who knows. But it is a great feeling to have these conversations with self even when there’s some conflict, because it feels so real and true to myself.

How do we decide? We are all different, of course. That’s the fun of it. How did I decide? I’ve been working on really listening to myself and trusting myself. And that’s what I did. I stood there and said to myself, finally, “why would I fight this, fight myself? Why would I fight what I’ve been working to get better at – listening to myself, trusting myself – what has been feeling so good and empowering?” So, I chose to listen again and not fight myself. So again, we’ll see. But it always feels better to not battle with myself. That’s been my goal for this year, well, for many years, but this year I’ve meant it more than ever. And I’ve followed through more than ever and it feels great — better late than never.

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