Everyday a moment of sitting and sipping out of a warm cup has the potential to be a sacred and spiritual experience if we slow down for eternity to catch up. I learned through experiencing a death close to my heart that connection cultivated through relationships make up the muscle and bone of our lives and acceptance and surrender is the dance to live it.
“We slowly walked out to the backyard, which was the farthest my father could walk at the time, and sat down in wooden chairs looking out at the trees and the pond. I felt tears fall from my eyes as I knew this would be some of our last time spent together, my throat felt swollen and words would fall short, so I just sat there sipping my coffee taking in everything I could about that moment.”
In the process of making these cups I was reminded of the gift of acceptance and surrender, the two things necessary in order to be present, which I learned as I sat with my father that day in acceptance of my feelings and surrendering to what was to come. Every time I sit down at the wheel to throw I am given an opportunity to be vulnerable with myself and with this work I was able to feel and express my emotions about my father. It became clear in order to create it was necessary to play and in order to play, I needed to let go of my preconceived ideas of the results, my control. Out of this play and presence came the abstract forms on the cups made from trimmings reattached as I was throwing. I used some of my father’s ashes mixed with glaze to make small marks along the lines drawn to replicate his hand drawn blueprints he created as an architect. These marks and lines became almost invisible under the overlying glaze after being fired, showing how if we pay attention and slow-down we will see the gifts given to us and around us and embodies my practice of surrendering control as there are no guaranteed outcomes when firing ceramics.
These works are meant to be an opportunity to experience full presence by accepting all that is and surrendering to what could be. Be present to what is rising within you or around you, and acknowledging whatever that is with acceptance whether it be grief, joy, disappointment or amazement. As you accept your feelings and allow them to exist within you, without your own judgement, you eventually find yourself again free with your soul.