Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Untitled 2

This week marks a transition in the summer for me. I'm wrapping up three weeks of throwing pots almost every day, and then beginning on Saturday we are on the road for almost three weeks nonstop.

First, the pots. I forgot how easy it is for me to work with clay. Easy, as in it is so comfortable, something I know so well. The comfort level goes deeper than the cliche about riding a bike. It's not just that I remember how to do it. It's more. I'm comfortable with my hands in clay almost more than anything else. My hands simply know what to do. It's hard to put into words, but I think if one saw me at work in the studio, it would be clear. It's like a second home for my spirit.

I really have forgotten recently how this feels. To return to something I know and love so well is such a tremendous gift. One might ask what this has to do with my pastoral vocation. But to be so at home with myself, I think, is to be on holy ground. This summer the studio has been a sacred place for me in that I'm convinced that God surely must be present when I am so at ease with myself.

But I digress too much toward theologizing. One of the best things about these three weeks in the studio is that I feel no pressure to explain it. I'm just making work and enjoying it. There will be time later to make sense of what it all means. For now, I'm letting my hands do all the work and letting my head rest as much as I can.

This is one of the great gifts of this time. I don't think I realized until this summer how much my work includes a constant rhythm of theologizing, explaining, make sense of things, providing commentary and ethical frameworks for people's daily lives. I love it, but after four years it's draining. So I am delighting in this time of tangible creativity and setting aside the temptation of too much commentary.

As for the next few weeks, our household is embarking on perhaps the most adventurous part of the summer. This Saturday Jess and I leave for five days in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Then we're back for just a day or two before spending a week in Western PA -- first a couple days at Laurelville for a wood firing, then most of the week at the Mennonite convention in Pittsburgh. Then we're back again for a day or two before heading to the beach for a few days with Jess' family.

So, I guess this is the end of Part One of my sabbatical. It's been lovely.


Blogger Cheilita said...

dear chad. i think you are top drawer.

29 June, 2011  

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