CLAY


The hum from Peyton throwing on the pottery wheel downstairs leads me into thought as I sit window side with a cup of my favorite afternoon tea. Savannah has just delivered the steaming cup with the announcement that she "wanted to remind me with my favorite piece of pottery." Reminded I am!

I have the privilege of having a potter within my own home. To watch someone with the gift of throwing is to see something extraordinarily difficult be performed in such a way as to induce an illusion of ease. The watcher can swiftly begin to feel as though they too could spin a bowl, cup or plate within seconds - how hard could it be? But to anyone without the Gift, who has tried their hand on the wheel, you know the difference. What seemed like something with which you would immediately have complete domination, suddenly and without a single warning, will spin out of control and into a wrecked heap right before your very eyes.

The cup that Savannah just delivered to my side table was thrown by local named Guillermo Cuellar. He is my favorite local professional as his work is both rugged and refined. It is uniquely masculine in a way that evokes solidity and strength. Yet his implemented details in glazes and textures are remarkably winsome and elegant.


And he is left handed.

The left handed part probably means little to you. Both of my children are left handed, though neither their father nor I are. We actually have no idea where it came from. But that is not the draw to the left handed potter in my mind. What intrigues me most about Guillermo being left handed is that when I naturally hold his designs in my hands they never fit!

In the past, I spent much time at his studio holding cups and chalices, never finding a true fit, yet always continuing my search. Until one day Savannah came to me with a modest cup, asked me to hold it, and as I fumbled trying to make it fit my hands, to find the potters grasp, she placed her hands on mine and looked me in the eyes. "Mom, you are holding it wrong.  The maker is left-handed."

It was not that I couldnt find his grasp because he is a man, stronger than I, with bigger hands, etc (which are all true), but rather because I needed to switch to a counter intuitive hold, in my left hand, where the cup would fit perfectly.

I must hold it differently to see it, and feel it, with the Artists eyes.

Thus the reason my eldest daughter knows this cup to be my favorite...a daily, tangible reminder that my life, when felt by my own hands and seen by my own eyes, most of the time, seems a poor fit. And the second I take it into my feeble hands I am vulnerable to an imploded collapse. But with a counter intuitive adjustment, I can see the mark of the Artists seal, and imagine how He held me as He formed me. I can feel the imprints of His fingers and imagine just how He supports and holds me still today. I can see, and once again be reminded, that He designs with perfect Purpose, leaving nothing lacking. He has something definite in mind with my life.

I am reminded by this favorite cup, today and everyday, that I am clay.